Power Play Keys 3-1 Nailers Win
NORFOLK, VA- The score wasn't as lopsided as it was in the series opener, but on Friday night, the Wheeling Nailers got the job done again, as they took down the Norfolk Admirals, 3-1 at Norfolk Scope Arena. Jared Cockrell led the offensive attack with two power-play goals, Bobby Hampton netted his first pro goal, and Stefanos Lekkas turned aside 32 shots.
Both teams got multiple special teams opportunities in the first period, and the Nailers cashed in on one of theirs to get on the scoreboard first. Jared Cockrell made his way to the top of the left circle, then capitalized on a great screen, as he whipped a shot into the top-right corner of the net.
Wheeling added to its lead in the early stages of the middle frame. Nick Mangone chased down a loose puck on the right side of the offensive zone, then immediately swung a pass to Bobby Hampton in the slot. Hampton took a moment to put the puck where he wanted it, before swiping his first pro goal into the left side of the cage. The Admirals got on the board with less than two minutes remaining, just after the Nailers had killed off back-to-back penalties. Colton Heffley found himself wide open in the slot, as he roofed a shot into the top-right corner.
The game remained tight, as time ticked away in the third period, while Wheeling maintained its lead. With 6:30 to go, the visitors added insurance. Stefanos Lekkas launched a pass to the opposite blue line to spring Sam Houde into the offensive zone. Houde quickly fed a pass to the slot, where Jared Cockrell crashed in, turned to his backhand, and jammed a shot inside of the left post. The Nailers shut things down from there for the 3-1 victory.
Stefanos Lekkas had a stellar night in goal for Wheeling, as he blocked away 32 of the 33 shots he faced and collected his second assist of the year. Dylan Wells took the loss for Norfolk, as he made 31 saves on 34 shots.
The Nailers and Admirals will wrap up their series in Norfolk on Saturday at 7:30. Wheeling's next home game is Sunday, December 26th against the Cincinnati Cyclones at 6:10 (note the change from the traditional Sunday start time). The Nailers will also be home on New Year's Eve against Norfolk at 6:10 for a Frosty Friday, which also features a Gatsby theme and a light stick giveaway, courtesy of Unified Bank. Season memberships, single-game tickets, and holiday packages are available, and fans can get more information by calling (304) 234-GOAL. The Wheeling Nailers considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley.