Goalie Duel Goes to Fort Wayne, 2-1
Sam Houde Extends Point Streak to 11 with Lone Wheeling Goal
WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers will have to wait until the final day of the regular season to find out who they will face in the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Wheeling got a strong goaltending performance from Louis-Philip Guindon, but was only able to solve Samuel Harvey once, as the Fort Wayne Komets picked up a 2-1 win at WesBanco Arena. Sam Houde was the lone goal scorer for the Nailers.
The two teams played to a scoreless first period, before the visiting Komets opened things up with a pair of goals in the final six minutes of the middle frame. Wheeling came up with a few shot blocks on the sequence, but Zach Tolkinen ultimately broke through for Fort Wayne, as he let a wrist shot go from the bottom of the right circle, which flew into the top-right corner of the net. The Nailers came close to netting an equalizer on a two-man advantage, but after the first penalty expired, the Komets turned the tables with a shorthanded strike. Mark Rassell forced the turnover in neutral ice and took the first shot attempt, before Oliver Cooper followed up his teammate to deposit the rebound.
Wheeling closed to within a goal at the 5:32 mark of the third period. Matt Foley worked the puck around the offensive zone to Sam Houde, who lifted in a wrist shot from the top of the left circle to extend his point streak to 11 games. Despite a power play with 6:23 left and some time with the goaltender pulled, the Nailers were unable to pot an equalizer, as Fort Wayne held on for the 2-1 win.
Samuel Harvey earned the victory in goal for the Komets, as he turned aside 25 of the 26 shots he faced. Louis-Philip Guindon gave the Nailers another solid performance, but ended up on the short end of the decision, after making 26 saves on 28 shots.
The Nailers will close out the 2021-22 regular season on Saturday night in Fort Wayne at 7:30. Wheeling has clinched a spot in the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs, and will have home games on Wednesday, April 27th, Friday, April 29th, and Saturday, April 30th (if necessary), with all three matches starting at 7:10. The Nailers want you to join #NailersArmy and get your playoff tickets now by visiting wheelingnailers.com or 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.