WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers were less than five minutes away from ending their skid on home ice, but Friday night's game took a turn in the other direction, as the Norfolk Admirals scored a power play goal to tie the game, then a power play goal to win the game, 4-3 in overtime, while Wheeling had two man advantages all night. The Nailers got great contributions from their blueline, as Jack Van Boekel and Louie Roehl found the back of the net, while Dilan Peters notched his first pro point with an assist.
The opening seconds of the game weren't what the Nailers envisioned, but they were able to dust themselves off and get a lead to take into the intermission. Norfolk came one second from history, as Stepan Timofeyev zipped a wrist shot into the left side of the net just seven seconds into play. Wheeling answered back at the 8:02 mark. Justin Addamo muscled the puck into the offensive zone for Cédric Desruisseaux, who sifted a pass to the top of the crease, where Jack Van Boekel lifted a redirection into the top portion of the cage. 91 seconds later, Jordan Frasca put the home side ahead, as he wired in his second goal in as many games with a wrist shot from the left wing wall.
Both squads put one on the board in the middle frame. The Admirals pulled even at the 6:18 mark, when Timofeyev maneuvered his way into the slot, and deposited a centering pass from Mathieu Roy into the right side of the goal for his second of the night. The Nailers regained the lead with a shorthanded strike. Wheeling had just finished killing off a 5-on-3, when Louie Roehl exited the penalty box with all sorts of speed, as he chased down a loose puck in front of the bench. He proceeded to fly into the offensive zone, deke out a defender, and roof a wrist shot into the top-right corner.
Wheeling carried its 3-2 lead into the final five minutes of regulation, but with 4:20 to go, the tide turned. An altercation took place in front of the benches, which led to matching minors on Cam Hausinger and Nico Blachman. The Nailers got dinged for a holding minor shortly after, and Norfolk proceeded to tie the contest on the power play. After his penalty expired, Blachman set up Danny Katic, who dragged the puck to his backhand and shoveled it into the bottom of the net.
Overtime was played with a very open style, as the two teams combined for six shots on goal. However, another Wheeling penalty led to the deciding goal on an Admirals man advantage. Timofeyev forced the puck to the left side of the crease, where former Nailer Griffin Lunn slid in the final marker for the 4-3 result in Norfolk's favor.
Cale Morris picked up the win for the Admirals, as he made 24 saves on 27 shots. Brad Barone suffered the overtime defeat for the Nailers, despite stopping 29 of the 33 shots he faced.
The Nailers and Admirals will clash again on Saturday night at 7:10. Saturday is Pittsburgh Penguins Night, starring Tyler Kennedy, Jean-Sébastien Aubin, and François Leroux. Additionally, the Nailers will be wearing 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.