KALAMAZOO, MI- The Wheeling Nailers are playoff bound for the first time since 2016! On Wednesday night, Wheeling punched its ticket to postseason play with an extremely tight 3-2 win over the Kalamazoo Wings at Wings Event Center. Cam Hausinger scored two goals for Wheeling, including his team-leading sixth game winner, which came with 6:46 left in the second period. Louis-Philip Guindon made sure the game was won, as he turned in a tremendous 35-save effort.
The two teams played a tight first period, but there was a difference on the scoreboard, as the Nailers took advantage of a fortunate bounce. Cam Hausinger wound his way to the right wing wall of the offensive zone, where he tossed the puck to the goal. The shot ended up tipping off of Kalamazoo's Tanner Sorenson and flying into the net.
The offenses opened up a bit more in the middle frame, as both sides struck twice. Wheeling started by adding to its lead at the 3:37 mark. Justin Almeida stepped up into the left circle, and drove a wrist shot into the top-left corner of the cage. Kalamazoo picked up its first marker 1:44 later, when Eric Kattelus bounced the puck into the low slow, where Kyle Blaney turned to his backhand and slid a shot in along the ice. Hausinger netted his second of the night later in the period, when he squeezed in a wrist shot off the rush from the right circle. With less than a minute to go, the Wings closed to within one on the man advantage, as Justin Taylor swept in a shot from along the right side of the goal line.
The key to the third period was to get the game to the finish line, and with strong defense and goaltending, the Nailers did exactly that, as they held on for the 3-2 triumph.
Louis-Philip Guindon was sensational in goal for Wheeling, as he earned the victory by rejecting 35 of the 37 shots he faced, including all 11 in the third period. Trevor Gorsuch took the loss for Kalamazoo, as he made 28 saves on 31 shots.
The Nailers will return to Wheeling for their final home game of the regular season on Friday at 7:10 against the Fort Wayne Komets. The game is Fan Appreciation Night, which will feature a pregame party and surprise in-game giveaways. Plus, it's a Frosty Friday with $2 beers. 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.