Defense, Goaltending, Discipline Shine in 2-1 Win
INDIANAPOLIS, IN- The Wheeling Nailers started their road trip in a Field of Dreams, and as they leave the trip, the dream of returning to third place has come true. On Friday night, Wheeling got early second period goals from Adam Smith and Tim Doherty, then looked to goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon, who made 21 saves. The Nailers were victorious 2-1 over the Indy Fuel at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, and did not take a single penalty in the entire contest.
The Nailers came out with all sorts of energy, and although the first period concluded with a scoreless deadlock, it was only going to be a matter of time before the visitors broke through. The opening marker came at the 38-second mark of the middle frame. Sam Houde dangled his way toward the slot to get a shot off, which was blocked. However, the rebound came out to Adam Smith, who jammed away on the right side, and got the puck to slide under netminder Justin Kapelmaster. Wheeling added to its lead less than four minutes later. Sean Josling held onto the puck in the right circle, before shoveling a pass to Tim Doherty in the middle of the slot. Josling's patience forced Kapelmaster to lunge across his crease, as Doherty flew his shot into the cage.
The Nailers continued their strong defensive play in the third period, and came less than two minutes away from putting a zero on the opposing side of the scoreboard. However, with 1:13 remaining, the Fuel got on the board with a 6-on-5 goal. Spencer Watson swept the puck across the slot for Jan Mandat, who connected on a one-timer from the right side. Indy never came close again, as Wheeling closed the door on its 2-1 triumph.
Louis-Philip Guindon turned in another excellent performance in goal for the Nailers, as he turned aside 21 of the 22 shots he faced. Justin Kapelmaster suffered the setback for the Fuel, despite making 29 saves on 31 shots.
The Nailers will head back home for their next two games, as they will face the Toledo Walleye at WesBanco Arena on Saturday at 7:10 and Sunday at 4:10. Fans can come see the Kelly Cup on Saturday, then Sunday has a post game skate featuring the entire team. Fan Appreciation Night is also right around the corner, when the Nailers battle the Fort Wayne Komets on April 15th at 7:10. Season memberships, single game tickets, and partial 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.