CINCINNATI, OH- Hockey is a game of bounces, and on Wednesday night, the Wheeling Nailers fell victim of one that went the wrong way. While playing on the man advantage in the final five minutes of the third period, the Nailers inadvertently put the puck in their own net, which decided the game, 3-2 for the Cincinnati Cyclones at Heritage Bank Center. Adam Smith and Cédric Desruisseaux were the Wheeling goal scorers.
The first period got played in the blink of an eye, and it saw one goal, which was scored on the power play by the Cyclones. Louie Caporusso stole a Wheeling clearing attempt in the right circle, and promptly drilled a slap shot into the back of the net for the unassisted strike.
Caporusso potted his second of the night at the 2:18 mark of the middle frame, as he finished off a feed from Justin Vaive on the left side of the crease. The Nailers were able to shake off the early deficit, and battle back to tie the contest. Adam Smith put the visitors on the board at the 5:17 mark, when he settled down a centering pass from Gianluca Esteves, and shuffled a shot underneath Beck Warm's right pad. Wheeling drew even less than five minutes later. David Drake's left point shot hit off some bodies, then dribbled along the goal line, where it got dunked into the cage by Cédric Desruisseaux.
The Nailers played well enough to take a point out of Heritage Bank Center, but with 4:12 left in regulation, puck luck wasn't on their side. Matt McLeod's right side shot got caught by Taylor Gauthier. Wheeling tried to get a breakout starting, but when the team elected to reverse behind the net, the puck rolled off a stick and into the net. The Nailers were unable to recover from that play, and thus, Cincinnati won, 3-2.
Beck Warm picked up the victory in goal for the Cyclones, as he made 25 saves on 27 shots. Taylor Gauthier came up with stops on 26 of the 29 shots he faced in the defeat for Wheeling.
The Nailers and Cyclones will both have Thursday off, before returning to the ice at Heritage Bank Center on Friday night at 7:35. Wheeling will then travel to Kalamazoo for a 7:00 game on Saturday against the Wings. The Nailers will have a pair of home games next weekend, when they host the Indy Fuel for a Frosty Friday on December 16th at 7:10. Then, the Cyclones come to town on Sunday, December 18th at 4:10. Following that contest, fans will get the chance to skate with the even-numbered players. Season memberships, Big 6 ticket plans, and single game tickets are available for the 2022-23 season by visiting wheelingnailers.com or 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.