Shorthanded Nailers Snakebitten Against Cincinnati
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers faced a big challenge on Sunday evening, as they took the ice with just 14 skaters against their division rivals, the Cincinnati Cyclones. Despite an opening strike by Brandon Saigeon, the rest of the contest belonged to the Cyclones, who rattled off seven straight goals for a 7-1 road win at WesBanco Arena.
The two teams exchanged goals in a closely played first period. Wheeling tallied the opening marker at the 6:31 mark. Bobby Hampton used great patience on the left side of the ice, as his teammates completed a line change. He eventually fed Brandon Saigeon, who drilled in a one-timer from the left side of the slot. The Cyclones drew even with 2:46 left on the clock. Lukas Craggs had his initial shot thwarted away but was able to follow up and roof the second opportunity into the top-left corner.
The middle frame was a difficult one for the home side, as three goals went the other way. Cincinnati took its first lead of the evening at the 4:33 mark of the period. Matthew Cairns blazed the puck around the glass to Dajon Mingo, who centered a pass to Louie Caporusso for a tap-in on the left side of the crease. Matt McLeod upped the Cyclones advantage less than three minutes later when he converted on a breakaway with a chip shot into the top-right corner, which was set up by Jack Van Boekel. With nine minutes to go, Dajon Mingo potted a shorthanded goal from the bottom of the right circle.
Cincinnati tacked on three more goals in the third period. Wyatt Ege tossed in a power-play goal with a wrist shot from the point at the 3:33 mark, Justin Vaive hammered in a one-timer on the right side of the low slot, then Craggs netted his second of the night by roofing a shot into the top-right corner, as the Cyclones were victorious, 7-1.
Mat Robson got the win for Cincinnati, as he made 21 saves on 22 shots. Tommy Nappier suffered the loss for the Nailers, as he allowed seven goals on 24 shots.
The Nailers will close out the 2021 calendar year with their traditional New Year's Eve game, which takes place on Friday at 6:10 against the Norfolk Admirals. That game features a Gatsby theme, a light stick giveaway courtesy of Unified Bank, and a Frosty Friday with $2 beers. 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.