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Stingrays Use Late Surge to Upend Nailers, 4-2

Halverson Makes 44 Saves in Loss

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC — Brandon Halverson stood on his head with a 44-save performance for the Wheeling Nailers on Friday night, as they continued their road trip against the South Carolina Stingrays at North Charleston Coliseum.

Unfortunately, that effort wasn’t enough to get the team into the win column, as the Stingrays got a goal from Zach Malatesta to break a late deadlock in what turned out to be a 4-2 win for the home team. Sean Josling and Lawton Courtnall tallied for Wheeling.

The two teams played to a scoreless first period, which featured fabulous goaltending by Brandon Halverson, as South Carolina outshot the Nailers, 16-8.

In the middle frame, Wheeling got the scoring started. Sean Josling battled the puck over the offensive blueline and got some separation on the right side, which allowed him to rip a shot into the left side of the net.

A little more than four minutes later, the Nailers struck again, thanks to a tally by their shorthanded specialist, Lawton Courtnall.

Dylan MacPherson aired a long pass from end to end, which landed with Courtnall in the right circle.

Courtnall waited out the defense and goalie, before pounding a shot into the left side of the cage.

The Stingrays pulled within a goal less than a minute later on a Dan DeSalvo breakaway, as he swept a shot in along the ice.

South Carolina drew even at the 1:40 mark of the third period.

Justin Florek dragged the puck to the front of the net, where Andrew Cherniwchan picked up the loose change and lifted a shot up top.

The Stingrays put heavy pressure on for the majority of the stanza, and with 4:13 remaining, they took their first lead of the night.

DeSalvo shook the puck out of the corner to Zach Malatesta, who slammed in a one-timer from the high slot.

The Nailers turned on the pressure late, but an empty netter by Mason Morelli closed out the 4-2 South Carolina win.

Alex Dubeau picked up the victory for the Stingrays, as he made 25 saves on 27 shots. Brandon Halverson played extremely well for Wheeling, as he stopped 44 of the 47 shots he faced in the defeat.

The Nailers and Stingrays will do battle again on Saturday in North Charleston at 6:05.

Wheeling’s next homestand is a three-game series against South Carolina on January 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, with the games on Friday and Saturday starting at 7:10, and Sunday’s contest beginning at 4:10.

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