Walleye Edge Nailers, 3-2
TOLEDO — Saturday night was an emotional game at the Huntington Center, and in the end, the Wheeling Nailers left with a sour taste in their mouths. Bryan Moore scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal as part of a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, as the Toledo Walleye escaped with a 3-2 home victory. Renars Krastenbergs and Dan Fick were the goal scorers for Wheeling.
Both teams got on the scoreboard in the first period. Toledo was the first to strike with a controversial goal, as Dylan Sadowy broke in alone, and appeared to ring a shot off both posts. However, the goal was ruled good on the ice, then upheld due to a technological malfunction. The Nailers bounced back to square the contest with 5:28 remaining in the stanza. Alec Butcher whipped a shot on goal from the left side, which was padded away. Renars Krastenbergs was camped out in the low slot, where he slammed home the rebound.
The Walleye had a strong start to the middle frame, scoring twice in the opening five minutes. At the 42-second mark, A.J. Jenks and Shane Berschbach exchanged passes on an odd-man rush, with Jenks potting the goal from the left side. Bryan Moore followed that up with a backhander from the right circle. With less than two minutes to go, Dan Fick brought Wheeling within one, as he tossed in a wrist shot from the right point off a face-off win by Zac Lynch, who assisted on each of the first two goals.
Neither team was able to light the lamp in the third period, as Toledo held on for the 3-2 win.
Pat Nagle got the win in goal for the Walleye, making 27 saves on 29 shots. Matt O’Connor turned aside 31 of the 34 shots he faced for the Nailers in the defeat.