WHEELING, WV- The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, have announced their schedule for the 2021-22 season - the 30th season of professional hockey in Wheeling.

The Nailers have a very family friendly schedule, as 33 of the team's 36 home games will be played either on weekends or holidays, including Thanksgiving Eve, the traditional New Year's Eve game, and for the first time ever at home, New Year's Day. Wheeling will play the majority of its schedule (55 of 72 games) against the Central Division, as long time rivals Cincinnati, Toledo, and Kalamazoo return after a one-year absence, while the new team in Coralville, Iowa will also be part of the mix. The Nailers will see a total of 12 different opponents, as Atlanta, Kansas City, Norfolk, Orlando, Reading, and Wichita are all on the schedule as well. The most frequent opponent will have a rivalry carry over from this season, as the Nailers and Indy Fuel will face-off 13 times. Game times will be the same as 2020-21, as Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday games will begin at 7:10, Sunday games will begin at 4:10, and New Year's Eve will begin at 6:10.

The season will begin with four straight road games in four different cities. Wheeling opens in Fort Wayne on Saturday, October 23rd, then visits three places in a row for the first times ever - Iowa, Kansas City, and Wichita. Those will be the only four games in October.

The home opener will be part of a home opening weekend to jump start season number 30, as the Nailers will host the Komets on Saturday, November 6th, before a tussle with the Fuel on Sunday, November 7th. November is a relatively light month at home, as there are only five games, with one more visit each from Fort Wayne and Indy, as well as the first look at the Cincinnati Cyclones on the 13th. The final home game of the month is Thanksgiving Eve - November 24th.

December gets rolling with four home games in the first two weekends, and three of those four games will be played against Cincinnati, as that rivalry gets heated up again. Wheeling travels to Norfolk for three games right before the holiday break, before returning home to challenge the Cyclones on December 26th. Finally, the calendar year will come to a close with the 28th New Year's Eve home game, as the Admirals make their way to Nail City.

After a night full of celebrating, the Nailers and Norfolk will be ready to roll again the next night, as the two sides will have a rematch on New Year's Day. January is one of the busier months of the season, as there are seven home games and 14 games overall, but there will be plenty of new faces. Reading and Kalamazoo make their first visits of the year, Wheeling goes to Orlando right before the 2022 ECHL All-Star Classic in Jacksonville, then Iowa plays its first two games in West Virginia on January 22nd and 23rd.

In years past, February was traditionally a road heavy month, but that'll be the opposite in 2021-22, as eight of the ten games will be played on home ice. The month starts with a 3-in-3 home weekend against three different teams (Indy, Iowa, Cincinnati), then on February 11th, the Atlanta Gladiators will come to Wheeling for the first time since March of 2013, when they were known as the Gwinnett Gladiators. After a visit from the Komets, the month concludes with a home-and-home set against the Royals, in addition to two home games against the Wings.

Although their farthest trip in March is only 384 miles to Kalamazoo, the Nailers will put on a lot of mileage, as nine of their 14 contests that month will be played in enemy territory. Those nine games will be played in six different cities - everywhere in the division except for Coralville, plus a Saturday venture to Reading. Oddly enough, Wednesday March 9th is the first time Wheeling fans will see the Walleye at WesBanco Arena, as they help set the stage for a two-game weekend set against the Royals.

The season typically winds its way down in April, but this will be a sprint to the finish, with nine games in 16 days. All nine games will be against divisional foes, and five of the nine will be played at home. The regular season will conclude with the same team as it started with, as the Nailers will host the Komets on Friday, April 15th, before traveling to Fort Wayne on Saturday, April 16th.

2021-22 Opponent Breakdown

13 vs. Indy - 7 home, 6 away

10 vs. Cincinnati - 6 home, 4 away

10 vs. Fort Wayne - 5 home, 5 away

8 vs. Kalamazoo - 5 home, 3 away

7 vs. Toledo - 3 home, 4 away

7 vs. Iowa - 3 home, 4 away

6 vs. Reading - 4 home, 2 away

5 vs. Norfolk - 2 home, 3 away

3 vs. Orlando - 3 away

1 vs. Atlanta - home

1 vs. Kansas City - away

1 vs. Wichita - away

2021-22 Schedule

Sat. Oct. 23 at Fort Wayne, 8:00

Wed. Oct. 27 at Iowa, 8:00

Fri. Oct. 29 at Kansas City, 8:05

Sat. Oct. 30 at Wichita, 8:00

Sat. Nov. 6 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10

Sun. Nov. 7 vs. Fort Wayne, 4:10

Fri. Nov. 12 at Toledo, 7:15

Sat. Nov. 13 vs. Cincinnati, 7:10

Sun. Nov. 14 vs. Fort Wayne, 4:10

Fri. Nov. 19 at Indy, 7:00

Sat. Nov. 20 at Fort Wayne 7:30

Wed. Nov. 24 vs. Indy, 7:10

Fri. Nov. 26 at Iowa, 8:00

Sat. Nov. 27 at Iowa, 8:00

Fri. Dec. 3 vs. Cincinnati, 7:10

Sat. Dec. 4 at Toledo, 7:15

Sun. Dec. 5 vs. Indy, 4:10

Wed. Dec. 8 at Cincinnati, 7:35

Sat. Dec. 11 vs. Cincinnati, 7:10

Sun. Dec. 12 vs. Cincinnati, 4:10

Wed. Dec. 15 at Norfolk, 7:30

Fri. Dec. 17 at Norfolk, 7:30

Sat. Dec. 18 at Norfolk, 7:30

Sun. Dec. 26 vs. Cincinnati, 4:10

Fri. Dec. 31 vs. Norfolk, 6:10

Sat. Jan. 1 vs. Norfolk, 7:10

Wed. Jan. 5 vs. Reading, 7:10

Fri. Jan. 7 at Indy, 7:00

Sat. Jan. 8 vs. Indy, 7:10

Sun. Jan. 9 vs. Kalamazoo, 4:10

Fri. Jan. 14 at Orlando, 7:00

Sat. Jan. 15 at Orlando, 7:00

Sun. Jan. 16 at Orlando, 3:00

Fri. Jan. 21 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:10

Sat. Jan. 22 vs. Iowa, 7:10

Sun. Jan. 23 vs. Iowa, 4:10

Wed. Jan. 26 at Cincinnati, 7:35

Fri. Jan. 28 at Cincinnati, 7:35

Sat. Jan. 29 at Toledo, 7:15

Fri. Feb. 4 vs. Indy, 7:10

Sat. Feb. 5 vs. Iowa, 7:10

Sun. Feb. 6 vs. Cincinnati, 4:10

Wed. Feb. 9 at Kalamazoo, 7:00

Fri. Feb. 11 vs. Atlanta, 7:10

Sat. Feb. 12 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10

Sat. Feb. 19 at Reading, 6:00

Wed. Feb. 23 vs. Reading, 7:10

Fri. Feb. 25 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:10

Sat. Feb. 26 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:10

Wed. Mar. 2 at Toledo, 7:15

Sat. Mar. 5 at Reading, 6:00

Wed. Mar. 9 vs. Toledo, 7:10

Fri. Mar. 11 at Cincinnati, 7:35

Sat. Mar. 12 vs. Reading, 7:10

Sun. Mar. 13 vs. Reading, 4:10

Fri. Mar. 18 at Indy, 7:00

Sat. Mar. 19 at Indy, 7:00

Sun. Mar. 20 at Kalamazoo, 3:00

Wed. Mar. 23 at Indy, 7:00

Fri. Mar. 25 vs. Kalamazoo, 7:10

Sat. Mar. 26 vs. Indy, 7:10

Sun. Mar. 27 at Fort Wayne, 5:00

Wed. Mar. 30 at Fort Wayne, 7:30

Fri. Apr. 1 vs. Indy, 7:10

Sun. Apr. 3 vs. Fort Wayne, 4:10

Wed. Apr. 6 at Iowa, 8:00

Fri. Apr. 8 at Indy, 7:00

Sat. Apr. 9 vs. Toledo, 7:10

Sun. Apr. 10 vs. Toledo, 4:10

Wed. Apr. 13 at Kalamazoo, 7:00

Fri. Apr. 15 vs. Fort Wayne, 7:10

Sat. Apr. 16 at Fort Wayne, 7:30

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