DULUTH, Ga. - Mike Gershon scored twice to help lead the Wheeling Nailers to a 4-1 victory against the Gwinnett Gladiators at The Arena at Gwinnett Center on Friday night.
The victory extends the Nailers lead to six points over Cincinnati for first place in the North Division.
Wheeling lit the lamp first when Gershon flipped a soft shot from the low circle that looped over goaltender Edward Pasquale and into the back of the net.
Gwinnett countered on an odd man rush into the zone as Tim Miller fired a puck at the circle past Nailers netminder Patrick Killeen, tying the game at 1-1.
Gershon scored his second goal of the game after a faceoff win in the offensive zone. Gershon fired a wrist shot from the point, which slipped past a screened Pasquale through the five-hole, giving Wheeling a 2-1 lead.
All-Star selection Ben Street added to he lead, after he fired a wrist shot from the slot that slid across the goaline, upping the score to 3-1 at the end of the first period. Wheeling outshot Gwinnett 19-2 in the opening period.
A lack of scoring gave way to heavy hits and hostilities in the second period, as neither team was unable to crack the scoresheet in the middle frame.
In the third, Nick Petersen extended his goal scoring streak to six-straight games when he fired a wrist shot from the circle past Pasquale at 9:21 of the period to extend the Nailers lead to 4-1.
Things got physical late in the game as Wheeling's Peter Merth engaged in a wild fight with Gwinnett's Danick Paquette, while Joey Haddad tangled with Tim Miller. Wheeling outshot the Gladiators 42-20 for the game.
Patrick Killeen made 19 saves en route to his 13th victory of the season.
The Nailers conclude their road trip Sunday afternoon against the Greenville Road Warriors. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The next Nailers home game is Saturday, January 8 against the Reading Royals.