Three-Goal Third Lifts Indy to 5-2 Win
WHEELING, WV- Saturday night's game between the Wheeling Nailers and Indy Fuel at WesBanco Arena came down to the third period. Unfortunately for the Nailers, that stanza belonged to Indy, who broke a 2-2 deadlock with three unanswered goals, en route to a 5-2 road win and a sweep of the home-and-home series. Patrick Watling extended his point streak to 11 with a goal and an assist.
The Nailers did a great job of putting pressure on and creating offensive chances in the first period, and that effort resulted in the game's opening marker, which came on the man advantage. Chris Ortiz fed Patrick Watling for a one-timer from the top of the right circle. Watling let the shot fly, which got tipped into the cage by Cam Hausinger.
The middle frame saw the teams go back and forth with the goals. Indy got on the board early with a power-play tally, as Karl El-Mir shelved a wrist shot from the right face-off dot. Midway through the period, Wheeling got its lead back with a shorthanded strike, as Patrick Watling crossed into the middle to the ice, and drove a shot in off of the left post. Just under five minutes later, the Fuel drew even for a second time, as Jared Thomas crashed the net with his attempt, which produced a rebound for C.J. Eick, who followed up for the goal.
Early in the third period, Indy took its first lead of the night. Darien Craighead fired a missile from the right circle, which deflected off of Stefanos Lekkas' glove and dribbled in over the goal line. Midway through the stanza, the Fuel added to their advantage, when Seamus Malone capitalized on open space on the left side of the offensive zone, and created a 1-on-1 with the goaltender, as he slid a shot in on the left side of the net. Spencer Watson added an empty netter to finish off Indy's 5-2 win.
Mitch Gillam backstopped the victory for the Fuel, as he turned aside 27 of the 29 shots he faced. Stefanos Lekkas suffered the defeat, as he made 21 saves on 25 shots.
The Nailers will wrap up their 3-in-3 weekend on Sunday at 4:10 against the Kalamazoo Wings. Following the game, there will be a skate with the odd-numbered players. Season memberships, single game tickets, and holiday packages are available, and fans can get more information 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.