Nailers Don't Lose Ground, Despite 4-3 Defeat
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers didn't lose any ground in the playoff race on Saturday night, but unfortunately, they were unable to add to their advantage. Wheeling jumped out to a 3-1 lead on the visiting Toledo Walleye, who were able to rally back and collect a 4-3 victory at WesBanco Arena. Brett Boeing scored the tying and winning goals for Toledo, while the Nailers got two of their three markers from defensemen - Matt Foley and Josh Maniscalco.
Both teams connected for a goal in the opening stanza. The Nailers were first on the board at the 7:50 mark. Patrick Watling cruised to the high part of the offensive zone, before tossing a shot in towards the net. The puck ended up glancing to Sam Houde, who quickly turned to his backhand and shoveled a shot up and under the crossbar. Toledo tied things up with 5:33 remaining. Matt Berry battled his way to the low slot, where he was able to sweep a shot in along the ice.
The contest opened up a bit more in the middle frame, which started with two tallies by the home side. At the 1:34 mark, Tim Doherty won an offensive zone face-off back to Matt Foley, who threw in a wrist shot from the middle of the blueline. Another defenseman followed, as Josh Maniscalco drove ahead on an odd-man rush, picked his spot from the left circle, and fired a dart into the left side of the cage. The Walleye trimmed the margin down to one on a power play with less than two minutes to go, when TJ Hensick set up Brandon Hawkins for a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle.
The late period goal gave Toledo life into the third. At the 5:53 mark, the visitors drew even. Gordi Myer delivered a pass to the right side of the crease for Brett Boeing, who chipped a redirection into the top-right corner of the net. Less than four minutes later, Boeing gave the Walleye their first lead of the night, when he spun a shot in along the ice from the right face-off dot. Wheeling had a couple of chances to tie the game with a pair of power plays, but came up empty, and Toledo prevailed, 4-3.
Max Milosek picked up the win in goal for Toledo, as he made 25 saves on 28 shots. Alex D'Orio suffered the loss for the Nailers, as he stopped 24 of the 28 shots he faced.
The Nailers and Walleye will meet up again in Wheeling on Sunday at 4:10. Following the game, fans can skate with the entire team. After that, Wheeling will have just one home game remaining in the regular season, and that is Fan Appreciation Night against the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday, 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.