Nailers Complete 3-Game Sweep
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Wheeling Nailers put together a phenomenal three-game road trip, as they won all three matches against the Rapid City Rush at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. On Saturday night, Christopher Brown tallied twice, while Renars Krastenbergs’ second period marker turned out to be the difference, as the Nailers were triumphant, 4-2. Andrew D’Agostini made the win stand up with 26 saves.
The offenses got rolling in the latter stages of the first period, and it was the Nailers who took a 2-1 lead into the intermission. Wheeling struck first at the 12:48 mark. Willy Smith slid a pass across to Brown, who buried a wrist shot from the right circle. The Rush drew even on the power play, as Ryker Killins fed Peter Quenneville for a one-timer from the top of the left circle. The Nailers went back on top with a one-timer of their own, as Yushiroh Hirano pounded a drive into the bottom-left corner of the cage.
Wheeling added to its lead in the middle frame, just after coming up short on a two-man advantage. Justin Almeida whipped a shot toward the goal from the right circle. Krastenbergs got a piece of the puck to tip it home for the tally.
The game tightened up in the third period, as Rapid City pulled to within one at the 4:43 mark, when Keeghan Howdeshell sliced through the defense to lift in a backhander. However, the Nailers weren’t about to let the host squad climb any closer, as D’Agostini and the defense shut the door, allowing Brown to toss in an empty netter, applying the finishing touches on the 4-2 win.
D’Agostini earned his first victory in a Wheeling uniform, blocking aside 26 of the 28 shots he faced. Tyler Parks took the loss for the Rush, making 35 saves on 38 shots.