Wheeling Nailers Produce Enormous Attendance For First Five Home Games

The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have gotten off to another successful season on the ice, going 6-5-0 in their first 11 games, including a 4-1-0 mark on home ice. In addition, the support from the local fanbase has produced numbers that haven’t been seen in over a decade.

During the first five home games, WesBanco Arena has seen over 4,000 tickets sold on two occasions, as Wednesday’s morning game produced a crowd of 4,855, while Opening Night delivered a victory to 4,754 fans. Both of those numbers eclipsed the previous high under the ownership of The Hockey Club of the Ohio Valley, LLC, which was 3,782, set on October 18, 2013. Prior to this season, Wheeling had only surpassed 4,000 fans in a single game once in the previous three campaigns, doing so at the final regular season home game of 2011-12.

The total attendance of 16,249 through five games marks a start to the season that has gone unseen in 12 years. Prior to 2014-15, the last time the Nailers had a five-game start with a higher number was 2002-03, when 19,110 fans flew through the gates to open that slate of home games. In fact, during the 11 years in between, only the 2006-07 season (3,122) produced an average of over 3,000 fans during the first five home contests.

“We have been extremely thrilled to see the incredible support from our terrific fanbase during the first five home games,” said Nailers Vice President Craig Bommer. “Our staff has put in lots of hours to help us reach these heights, and we will be looking for even more success going forward,” he said.

The Nailers will play their next five home games over the next few weeks, with all five of the contests taking place between November 26th-December 6th. November 29th (Jersey Bank Giveaway) and December 6th (Patrick McGrath Bobblefist) are both “Big Six” Promotional Games, while November 28th and Demember 5th are both Flat Screen Fridays. In addition, fans can purchase McDonald’s Friends & Family Packages for the November 29th game, which include four tickets, four hats, and four value meal coupons for $39.99.

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Penguins Get Past Pirates 2-0

It was the Portland Pirates docking at the Mohegan Sun Arena tonight to try and shanghi the WBS Penguins, but the Penguins were ready for them making the Pirates walk the plank.

It wasn’t a real eventful first period WBS only getting five shots on net none of them making past McKenna. The Pirates amounted 4 shots on net as well none of them made it past Zatkoff. Only one penalty in the first round Harrington sat for a trip near the end of the first giving the Pirates 1:17 of carryover power play to start the second period.

The Penguins looked a little more alive for the second frame scoring on the power plat just over four minutes in as Adrew Ebbett slid one in near the back post giving the Penguins the first goal of the game and the lead, but there was a lot of hocky to go.

Mark Louis & Pierre-Luc Letorneau LeBlond do a little dance  Photo - PensFans4Ever

Mark Louis & Pierre-Luc Letorneau LeBlond do a little dance
Photo – PensFans4Ever

PL3 and Louis did a little dancing during the second frame I wouold score this one even neither dancer seemed to want to lead and the music wasn’t the greatest selection but it looked ok. Later in the second Chorney and Lane would do some dancing this time Chorney was the decisive leader.

The end of the second period would come the Penguins would lead 1-0 and Chorney drawing the extra minor during his fight would give the Pirates a carryover power play.

Third period was more of the first and second, a lot of end to end hockey but not much in the way of goals, not that the pirates weren’t trying Jeff Zatkoff made some great saves both in the second frame and the third keeping his team in the lead with one goal. McKenna did a nice job of keeping it a one goal lead as well.

WBS would score one more goal this was an empty netter as Portland went for broke in the final seconds of the game tonight. That’s how it would end the WBS Penguins taking the Portland Pirates by the score of 2-0.

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Nailers Were Comeback Kids on Education Day

The Wheeling Nailers gave their fans plenty of physical fireworks in the beginning of the game, but it was the end of the game that featured the best fireworks of all. Wheeling erased a 2-0 deficit, scoring twice in the third period, before a 2-for-4 effort landed the home team a 3-2 comeback win over the Elmira Jackals, in front of a season-high 4,855 fans at WesBanco Arena.

A pair of special teams goals allowed the Jackals to jump out to the 2-0 lead in the first period. At the 3:52 mark, Zach Tolkinen took a wrist shot from the top of the right circle, with loads of traffic parked in the slot. The shot found its way through for the power play marker, with Justin Kea and Thomas Nesbitt drawing assists. Later in the frame, Nesbitt helped to set up a shorthanded goal. The forward battled the puck through to the slot for a wide open Mike Seidel, who converted on a wrist shot from in close.

After a scoreless second period, the Nailers began to claw back in the third. Derek Army brought the home team within one at the 6:26 mark, when he grabbed a loose puck behind the net, wrapping it around and through Sam Marotta’s legs. Morgan Ellis and David Gilbert picked up the assists. 1:41 later, Wheeling pulled even, as Clark Seymour hammered home his first professional goal from the right point. Riley Brace extended his point streak to seven games with an assist, while Nick D’Agostino grabbed the second helper.

Seymour’s equalizer ultimately forced overtime, followed by a shootout, as the Nailers required bonus hockey for the first time in 2014-15. After Mike Seidel missed, David Gilbert’s backhand goal put Wheeling on the board in round one. The two sides exchanged saves in each of the next two rounds, as Taylor Stefishen, Sahir Gill, Stefano Momesso, and Riley Brace all came up empty. Then, in round four, an unsuccessful attempt by Steven Shamanski set up Zack Torquato for the dramatic finish, as he punctuated the 3-2 victory with a forehand shot through Marotta’s legs.

Eric Hartzell earned the win for Wheeling, thwarting 19 of 21 shots in the game, before a perfect 4-for-4 effort in the shootout. Sam Marotta took the shootout loss for Elmira, making 25 saves on 27 shots in the game, before allowing two goals on four shootout tries.

The Nailers and Jackals will meet in Elmira on Saturday at 7:05 and Sunday at 4:05, before Wheeling returns to WesBanco Arena to begin a five-game homestand on November 26th against Greenville at 7:05.

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Penguins Find It Not So Sweet In Chocolate Town With 3-2 Loss

The WBS Penguins got off to a bad start this afternoon at the Giant Center, the Bears seemed to have the better of them they just couldn’t seem to get thing going Hershey seemed to be in our zone more than not. The Penguins finally getting on the boards with a nice goal from Jayson Megna beating Grubauer just past the midway point of the first period.

A lot of end to end hockey with both sides getting chances a little dancing from Samuelsson and Mitchell but the score would be one to none at the break WBS Penguins with the advantage.

Jayson Megna seemed to be the only Penguins that could get anything in the net as he tallied his second of the afternoon putting the Penguins up 2-0 over the Bears and going on HTA on a nice breakaway. Hershey would cut the Penguins lead in half as JS Dea sat in the bin for delay of game. The Bears would score two more time one on a power play and one on a Penalty shot making it a 3-2 game but this time the Bears were in the lead.

Thats would be the end of the second period some carry over into the third of 4×4 hockey some :16 seconds to be exact but the score was as I said before 3-2 Bears.

Third period stars with 4×4 hockey spilling over from the second. Zatkoff makes a great save on Dustin Gazley keeping it a one goal game giving the WBS Penguins a fighting chance. Dea rings it off the post looked like it might have gone in but ref signaled no goal.

The WBS Penguins did everything they could do this afternoon to get the even up goal but it just wasn;’t in the cards for them. The final on this afternoons game in chocolate town was the Hershey Bears 3 the WBS Penguins 2.

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Syracuse With 3rd Period Come Back Take Pens 3-2

Different first period tonight from last night the WBS Penguins scoring twice in the opening period. The first was Conor Sheary getting the boys on the board at 12:33

WBS would tally a second goal this time on the power play Andrew Ebbett would get the Penguins second goal on the power play giving the Pens a 2-0 lead.

That’s where things would end at the first break WBS heading for the first break leading the Syracuse Crunch 2-0.

Charlie Roper enjoying the game along with our favorite Mascot Tux.  Tweet your pic @PensFans4Ever to get on our site Photo Credit - C.Roper

Charlie Roper enjoying the game along with our favorite Mascot Tux. Tweet your pic @PensFans4Ever to get on our site
Photo Credit – C.Roper

The WBS Penguins would get so great chances but would not find an opening. WBS would hold on to he two goal lead into the later parts of the second period until Syracuse would cut it in half.

At the second break it was the WBS Penguins 2 the Syracuse Crunch 1 with just twenty more minutes left in regulation.

Syracuse would mount a come back in the third period netting two unanswered goals one a power play goal making it all even at two each and putting the WBS Penguins in a bad spot with momentum gaining for the Crunch.

The Crunch would tally one more goal just past the ten minute mark of the third taking the lead for the first time in the contest and taking some of the wind out of the WBS sail. The Penguins would rally towards the end of the game but it would prove to be just to much and the Crunch would leave WBS victorious. The WBS Penguins falling tonight 3-2.

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Power Play Goals Push Fuel Past Nailers, 3-2

McGrath Gets First Career Goal, But its not enough

Just one of the signs that was around the WBS Arena when Patrick took to WBS ice Photo - PensFans4Ever

Just one of the signs that was around the WBS Arena when Patrick took to WBS ice Photo – PensFans4Ever

The Wheeling Nailers made their first ever visit to Fairgrounds Coliseum on Saturday night, and despite the first career goal for Patrick McGrath, the celebrating was done by the home team. The Indy Fuel erased a 2-1 deficit with two power play goals, including the deciding tally by Robert Czarnik, as it edged the Nailers, 3-2 in front of 5,349 fans.
The first period was loaded with entertainment and emotion, as well as three goals. Indy netted the first marker of the evening on an end-to-end rush. Patrick Cullen dropped a pass back to Robert Czarnik in the right circle, and Czarnik proceeded to shoot a wrist shot through Eric Hartzell’s legs. However, the Nailers battled back, tying the game and eventually taking the lead. With 6:11 remaining, Matia Marcantuoni sprang Riley Brace on a breakaway. Brace faked from his forehand to his backhand, slipping a shot through Cody Reichard for the equalizer. Later in the frame, Wheeling took the lead, when Patrick McGrath rang a shot off of both posts, with the puck trickling over the line in the middle. The tally was the first of McGrath’s professional career.

The Fuel was the only team to score in the middle frame, doing so with 9:29 to go, while playing on the man advantage. Matt White took a pass from Dean Chelios, before roofing a shot from the left circle.

Early in the third period, Indy jumped ahead, courtesy of its second straight power play goal. Brett Perlini won a face-off to Robert Czarnik, who found himself open in the slot. Czarnik lifted a wrist shot into the top-right corner of the net for what turned out to be the game winner in a 3-2 final score for the Fuel.

Cody Reichard took the win for Indy, making 21 saves on 23 shots. Eric Hartzell suffered the defeat for Wheeling, despite stopping 30 of the 33 shots he faced.

The Nailers will host the Elmira Jackals on Wednesday morning at 10:35.

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WBS Penguins Trap Phantoms 3-1

Tonight the WBS Penguins took on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

First period the WBS Penguins seemed a little flat in the beginning not seeming to get a lot of chances, but then again neither were the Phantoms.

Seemed to be a fast moving period WBS getting the first chance on the power play early in and I mean early :19 to be exact but would not convert. It wouldn’t be until WBS got a 5 on 3 that they would score Wilson would get the credit for the goal and the Pens would be up one to none.

An uneventful second period power plays traded between the two clubs but nothing in the way of goals. WBS had a few nice chances but just didn’t get the bounce they wanted.

At the end of the second period both teams left for the dressing rooms looking at the same score as in the first intermission WBS leading the Lehigh Valley Phantoms 1-0.

The third was some more end to end hockey the Phantoms would even the score just over two minutes into the third on the power play giving the Penguins somewhat of a scare.

Bryan Rust would give the Pens a boost with a nice second effort goal making it two to one WBS just over eight minutes into the third. The WBS Penguins would score one more tally an empty netter with just a few seconds left in the game making it a 3 to 1 victory trapping the Phantoms once again.

Here are some highlights from tonight’s game

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