Wednesday night in Wheeling, the Nailers took on the Elmira Jackals for the final time this season, trying to put a damper on their hopes for home ice advantage in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Eleven players found the scoresheet for host Wheeling, who also netted four goals in the middle frame, en route to a 6-2 triumph over their division rivals.
The Nailers started off the scoring with just under three minutes remaining in the first period. Zack Torquato took a shot from the blueline that was tipped into the cage by Paul Crowder. Alex Velischek picked up the second assist on the power play goal, as he was making his professional debut.
Cam Fergus wasted little time extending that lead in the second. Just 19 seconds in, the rookie forward won a puck battle in the right corner, before batting in a loose puck on the right side of the crease. 1:38 later, Keven Veilleux spotted Matt Germain in a similar location, as Germain wired in a one-timer for a 3-0 Wheeling lead. Elmira battled back with a pair of goals from Matt Tassone and Steven Kaunisto, before the Nailers answered with two of their own, re-upping the advantage back to three. Adam Ross wristed in his first goal of the season from the left point at 10:30, before Keven Veilleux blasted a one-timer past Ian Keserich from the top of the left circle off a feed from Zack Torquato.
Wheeling finished off the victory in the third period, when Zach Hansen pumped a shot on goal from the right point. Keserich made the initial save, but Crowder pounced on the rebound, sliding in a backhander for a 6-2 final in the Nailers’ favor. Six different players recorded multiple points in the win.
Scott Darling brought his record over the .500 mark, as he stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced in the win for Wheeling. Ian Keserich allowed six goals on 42 shots in the loss.
The Nailers will continue their season-ending homestand on Friday night, when they take on the Toledo Walleye at 7:00.