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OT Trips Up Wheeling, 4-3

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Despite earning a point, overtime has been an unfriendly destination for the Wheeling Nailers as of late, and Friday night they fell short in the bonus session at SNHU Arena against the Manchester Monarchs.

Troy Josephs scored to force overtime with 7:54 remaining, but David Kolomatis’ power-play goal at the 56-second mark of the extra period gave the Monarchs the upper hand in a 4-3 final.

One goal was scored in a first period that saw both teams direct eight shots on the opposition net. The tally came shortly after a Manchester power play, and it was the home team that struck first. Kolomatis slipped a pass through the slot to Nic Pierog, who blazed in a one-timer from the left circle.

After feeling each other out in the opening 20 minutes, the scoring increased during the middle frame. At the 3:54 mark, Dane Birks netted his first professional goal, tossing in a wrist shot from the center point.

Both teams then converted on power-play redirections to create a 2-2 tie. Pierog tipped in Chris Carlisle’s left-point wrist shot to put the Monarchs ahead, before Zac Lynch’s shot bounced off a Manchester stick and flew into the top-right corner.

With less than one minute to go in the period, Manchester regained the lead, as Spencer Watson finished an odd-man rush, which was created by Tony Cameranesi.

The lone goal of the third period went to the Nailers, who forced extra hockey. Robbie Hall opened up the play on the left side of the ice, before dishing a pass into the middle where Josephs crashed the net for a tip-in with 7:54 left in regulation.

Wheeling was called for a penalty in the first minute of overtime, and the Monarchs converted with the 4-on-3, as Kolomatis wound his way into the right circle, snapping in a wrist shot for the 4-3 win.

Charles Williams backstopped the victory in net for Manchester, turning aside 31 of the 34 shots he faced. Matt O’Connor suffered the overtime loss, despite making 27 saves on 31 shots.

The Nailers will continue their weekend road trip at 7:05 tonight, when they visit the Worcester Railers, followed by a 3:05 Sunday game at the Maine Mariners.

Wheeling will then play three straight games at home next week, starting with a 7:05 match against Reading on Wednesday.

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