Game Comes Down to One Goal, as Toledo Wins, 1-0
TOLEDO, OH- The Wheeling Nailers played their hearts out on Sunday afternoon, facing the red-hot Toledo Walleye at Huntington Center. The goaltenders stole the show, as 66 of the 67 shots taken were kept out of the nets by Wheeling's Tommy Nappier and Toledo's Sebastian Cossa. The lone puck to make its way in came off of Brandon Hawkins' stick with 9:16 left in the third period, as the Walleye earned their 13th straight win and 20th in the last 22 games by a 1-0 final score.
Both teams came out ready to fire, as 32 shots found their way onto the goaltenders in the first period, with the Walleye holding an 18-14 advantage. Every single one of those attempts was denied. Although the shot total was significantly smaller, the result was the same in the middle frame, as 11 more saves by Tommy Nappier and Sebastian Cossa continued to keep the door shut.
It was becoming obvious that one goal was going to decide the match, and that marker came with 9:16 left in the third period. Brandon Hawkins worked his way deep on the right side, then lifted a shot from a tight angle that snuck into the top-left corner of the net. Wheeling put together a strong push in the closing minutes, as the team attacked 6-on-5 for the final 1:47. However, a tying goal wasn't in the cards, as Toledo picked up the 1-0 win.
Sebastian Cossa earned his third shutout in his last six games and fourth of the season, as he was perfect on 23 shots for the Walleye. Tommy Nappier played phenomenally in goal for the Nailers, as he made 33 saves on 34 shots in the defeat.
The Nailers and Walleye will meet again on Wednesday, as the scene shifts to WesBanco Arena for the annual Education Day Game, which will begin at 10:45 a.m. That game is sold out. Then, Saturday night is Country Night at 7:10 against the Fort Wayne Komets, which features a live post-game concert by Jonathan Moody. 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.