TOLEDO, OH- The Wheeling Nailers threw everything they had at the net on Sunday afternoon, as they recorded 40 shots on goal at Huntington Center against the Toledo Walleye. Unfortunately, they ran into the hot goaltending of John Lethemon, who stopped every single one of them to earn a point in his 13th straight outing. Toledo gave him four goals of support to pick up its first home win of the season series, 4-0.
Despite the score, the Nailers turned in a decent first period, as they outshot Toledo, 15-8. However, a goal with 2:32 left in the stanza gave the Walleye the lead. Cédric Lacroix led the way on a transition rush, as he delivered a pass to Drew Worrad, who stepped into the right circle, and drove a wrist shot along the ice and into the net.
There was plenty of physicality throughout the match, and in the middle frame, three sets of matching minor penalties were handed out. There was also a goal in period two, and that went to Toledo. Gordie Green dropped a pass to Conlan Keenan in the left circle, then skated to the right post, where Keenan put a return feed on his tape for a tap-in and a 2-0 advantage.
Wheeling poured 13 more shots on target in the third period for a game total of 40, but the Walleye tacked on two insurance markers in the closing minutes. Lacroix won a face-off back to Charlie Curti, who launched a one-timer under the crossbar, then Conlan Keenan threw in an empty netter for a 4-0 final.
John Lethemon secured his second shutout of the season for Toledo, as he thwarted away all 40 shots he faced. Brad Barone suffered the defeat for the Nailers, as he made 21 saves on 24 shots.
The Nailers and Walleye will make their way to WesBanco Arena for a re-match on Wednesday night at 7:10. Wheeling will then welcome the Norfolk Admirals to town for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday, both starting at 7:10. Friday night will be a Frosty Friday with $2 beers, then Saturday is Pittsburgh Penguins Night, starring former Penguins players Tyler Kennedy, Jean-Sébastien Aubin, and François Leroux. Saturday's contest will also feature specialty jerseys. Ticket packages 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.