Minella Scores Lone Goal in Final Minute of Second; Wheeling Leads Series 3-0
Mike Condon did it again. For the fifth time in April and the eighth time this year, Condon was perfect between the pipes. With nine seconds remaining in the second period on Wednesday, Christiaan Minella gave the Wheeling Nailers the only goal they needed, as they edged the South Carolina Stingrays, 1-0 at WesBanco Arena. Wheeling now has a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Series.
A defensive and goaltending spectacle kept the game scoreless until the final seconds of the middle frame. The Nailers won an offensive zone face-off, with Max MacKay dropping a pass back to Dustin Stevenson at the right point. Stevenson took a wrist shot, which was stopped by Allen York. However, the rebound kicked out to the left side of the slot, where Christiaan Minella lunged forward, and willed the puck into the back of the net. The goal was Minella’s second of the series, as Wheeling took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
In the third period, the Stingrays turned the pressure up, outshooting Wheeling, 12-5. However, the Nailers continued to keep them off of the scoreboard, grabbing a 3-0 lead in the series with the 1-0 triumph.
Mike Condon earned his fifth shutout of the month and eighth of the year for the Nailers, stopping all 38 shots he faced. Allen York played well for South Carolina, but took the loss, making 25 saves on 26 shots.
The Nailers and Stingrays will battle in game four of the series on Friday night at 7:00.