Nailers Defeat Railers, 5-1
WORCESTER, Ma. — The Wheeling Nailers had a dominant third period to put an end to their seven-game winless streak, as they scored four unanswered goals to knock off the Worcester Railers, 5-1, at DCU Center. Michael Phillips led the way with two goals and an assist, while Jordan Ruby stood tall, making 33 saves, including 15 in the second period.
The Nailers controlled the majority of the play in the first period, and they were rewarded for their efforts with a late shorthanded tally. Ryan MacKinnon fumbled the puck away to Phillips, who pounced on the opportunity, ripping a wrist shot into the left side of the net. The shorthanded goal was Wheeling’s 14th of the year — the fifth highest total in team history.
Worcester outshot the Nailers, 15-1 in the middle period, but Ruby stood tall, preserving the one-goal lead.
In the early stages of the third period, the Railers got a little fortune to go their way as Barry Almeida’s pass banked off Tyler Barnes’ skate to temporarily tie the score. Wheeling bounced back immediately, regaining the lead 51 seconds later. Winston Day Chief centered a pass into the low slot, where it was powered through by Cedric Lacroix. That got the Nailers going in a big way, as they rattled off three more goals to open things up. Yushiroh Hirano shelved a backhander off a face-off win by Zac Lynch, Phillips completed a 3-on-1 rush by burying a pass from Troy Josephs, and Alec Butcher tipped in a Phillips shot from the high slot, lifting Wheeling to the 5-1 road triumph.
Ruby was spectacular in a win for the Nailers, as he denied 33 of 34 shots.