Strong Third Helps Walleye Top Nailers
TOLEDO, Ohio – The Wheeling Nailers put together great success on the power play on Saturday night, cashing in on two of their three-man advantages. However, Wheeling’s offensive output wasn’t enough, as the Toledo Walleye lit the lamp five times, including three goals in the third, picking up their second victory in as many nights against Wheeling, 5-3.
For the fifth time in 12 games this season, the Nailers opened the scoring. Philippe Lefebvre intercepted a clearing pass by the Walleye, and immediately steered a shot on goal. Goaltender Jordan Pearce made the save on Lefebvre’s chance, but kicked the rebound out to his left, where Stefan Chaput jumped on it, scoring with a backhander.
The home team evened the score later in the period, also capitalizing on a rebound.
Phil Rauch ripped a shot from the left point that was kicked out by Patrick Killeen.
However, Podge Turnbull batted the loose puck back into the net, sending the game into the intermission tied at 1-1.
Toledo then took the lead at the 6:47 mark of the second period, courtesy of an odd man rush. Willie Coetzee skated into the offensive zone on the right side, then proceeded to hold the puck, as teammates joined the rush. Coetzee ended up hooking up with the trailer, Max Campbell, who skated into the slot, finding open space in the far corner of the goal.
With 5:44 to go in the middle frame, Wheeling pulled even, netting a goal, while playing on the man advantage. Cam Fergus’ point shot got turned away, but Cody Wild was in perfect position to put back the rebound, giving him three goals and ten points on the year. Keven Veilleux also assisted on Wild’s marker, giving him points in two of three games since joining the club.
Less than one minute into the third period, the Walleye regained the lead. Willie Coetzee picked up a loose puck in center ice, and burst down the right side of the offensive zone. He then cut to the middle, making a beautiful move for the go-ahead goal.
At the 6:52 mark of the final stanza, the Nailers knotted the score. Cody Chupp took a pass from Carl Sneep, and snuck a shot through the right arm of Pearce from the bottom of the left circle. Ian Schultz also grabbed an assist on Chupp’s fifth goal in as many games. Unfortunately for Wheeling, the tie lasted for just 1:12, before Andrej Nestrasil slipped a shot through from low in the slot, putting Toledo back on top. Randy Rowe then finished a cross-ice pass from Kyle Rogers on the man advantage.
Jordan Pearce picked up his second win in as many nights, making 21 saves on 24 shots for the Walleye. Patrick Killeen took the loss for the Nailers, stopping 22 of the 27 shots he faced.