Defense and goaltending were the names of the game on Saturday night, as the Wheeling Nailers visited the Toledo Walleye at Huntington Center. Unfortunately for the Nailers, the Walleye were able to gain the upper hand, scoring a pair of goals in the third period, while Mac Carruth fended off 30 shots, giving Toledo a 2-0 win in its home opener.
The first period saw both teams receive a pair of power play opportunities, but all four chances went by the boards, as the game remained scoreless through both of the first two frames. One highlight of the opening stanza took place at center ice with 3:01 remaining, when Wheeling rookie Patrick McGrath dropped the mitts with Toledo’s Emerson Clark. There was also some animosity during the second period, as Chaz Johnson and Mac Carruth got into a verbal altercation.
The first goal of the game was scored at the 21-second mark of the third period. Kevin Lynch took a shot from the left side of the slot, which snuck through Mike Condon’s legs, putting the Walleye on top. Russ Sinkewich and Travis Novak assisted on the marker. Later in the period, Toledo added to the lead, Lynch ripped a shot off of the right post. The rebound deflected out to the left side, where Scott Arnold put it back in, giving the game its 2-0 final score.
Mac Carruth was perfect on 30 shots for the Walleye, earning his second win and first shutout of the season. Mike Condon denied 27 of the 29 shots he faced for the Nailers, but took the tough luck loss.
The Nailers return home on Friday and Saturday night, when they play a pair of 7:00 games against the Reading Royals and Greenville Road Warriors