When the Wheeling Nailers have gone to overtime this season, they have frequently turned to Luke Pither for their heroics. On Friday night, Pither didn't net the game winner, but had something to do with it, as he set up Chris Barton on a 2-on-1 rush. Barton's ninth goal of the season gave Wheeling a 3-2 overtime victory over the Trenton Titans at WesBanco Arena.
Chris Higgins started off the scoring at 2:29 of the first period, when he redirected Cody Chupp's pass into the net from the top of the crease. Higgins' power play goal, which was assisted by Chupp and Zach Hansen, also gave the Nailers at least one power play goal in 14 of their last 15 games. Later in the period, Chupp took a shot from the top of the right circle that got stopped, but Paul Crowder was there to put back the rebound.
The second period was controlled by the visting Titans. Less than two minutes into the frame, Jacob Cepis got past the defense, before scoring on Peter Delmas' stick side. Then, with under three minutes to go, Trenton pulled even, as Cepis set up Shane Harper for a goal from the bottom of the left circle.
Neither team was able to light the lamp in the third period, which included 1:39 of 5-on-3, as the game progressed to overtime.
Just over a minute into the overtime, Luke Pither fought off Titan Defensemen Tyler Hostetter, before making a beautiful pass to Chris Barton, who clinched the Nailers overtime win with a goal from the left side of the slot.
Peter Delmas earned the victory for Wheeling, stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced. Niko Hovinen took the overtime loss for Trenton, making 29 saves on 32 shots.