TRENTON, N.J. - The Wheeling Nailers brought a complete team effort to Sun National Bank Center on Friday night, as they clashed with the Trenton Titans. Five different players found the back of the net, while six others added assists as the Nailers (26-23-11 - 63) defeated the Titans, 5-2. The victory, which ran Wheeling's unbeaten streak to four, moved it to within seven points of seventh-place Greenville in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
With time winding down in the opening period, the Nailers struck first as Matt Germain swung the puck out to Todd Orlando, who let a shot fly in from the left point. The puck deflected off of a Trenton (25-29-8 - 58) body in front, before bouncing its way into the back of the net. Adam Ross joined Germain with an assist on Orlando's first ECHL goal, which gave Wheeling a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
In the second period, the Nailers also received a friendly deflection off a point shot, as they added to their lead. Peter Merth teed up a drive from the right point, which Scott Zurevinski redirected into the back of the cage. Zurevinski's 11th goal of the season came on the power play, as Wheeling took a 2-0 lead into the third period.
Early in the third period, the visitors ran into penalty trouble, allowing the Titans to tie the score. Andy Bohmbach brought Trenton within one at the 1:23 mark, when he shoved Shane Harper's pass in on the right side of the crease. Less than 3 minutes later Harper got the equalizer himself.
Midway through the frame, Zack Torquato snagged a home-run pass from Merth, escaping for a breakaway, which he deposited with 8:56 remaining. Twenty-three seconds later, Max MacKay shifted from the left to the right, before finding Zach Hansen, who slipped a shot through Cal Heeter's legs from the right circle.
Wheeling1 1 3 - 5
Trenton0 0 2 - 2
1st Period-1, Wheeling, Orlando 1 (Fergus, Zurevinski), 17:01. Penalties-Torquato Whl (tripping), 1:21; Kessel Tre (holding), 9:53; served by Higgins Whl (bench - too many men), 18:39.
2nd Period-2, Wheeling, Zurevinski 11 (Merth), 12:37 (PP). Penalties-Goggin Tre (slashing ), 10:57; Goggin Tre (unsportsmanlike conduct), 12:37; Crowder Whl (delay of game), 15:28.
3rd Period-3, Trenton, Bohmbach 21 (Harper, Johnston), 1:23 (PP). 4, Trenton, Harper 3 (Haczyk, Kessel), 4:21 (PP). 5, Wheeling, Torquato 6 (Higgins), 11:04. 6, Wheeling, Hansen 6 (MacKay, Crowder), 11:27. 7, Wheeling, Lenes 9 (Fergus, Barton), 18:21 (EN). Penalties-Merth Whl (hooking), 0:58; Orlando Whl (roughing), 2:36; Torquato Whl (tripping), 12:23.
Shots on Goal-Wheeling 8-9-7-24. Trenton 4-8-10-22.
Power-Play Opportunities-Wheeling 1-3; Trenton 2-6.
Goalies-Wheeling, Delmas 14-8-0-4 (22 shots-20 saves). Trenton, Heeter 2-2-0-0 (23 shots-19 saves).
Referee-Nic Leduc (14); Linesmen-Ryan Daisy (64), Brian Oliver (36).