All good things come to an end, and unfortunately for the Wheeling
Nailers, their 12-game point streak is now a thing of the past. On Thursday
night, the Elmira Jackals earned their first win in the season series,
thanks to a pair of power play goals, as well as 44 saves by Maxime
Clermont. The final score was 5-2 in favor of the visitors at WesBanco
Elmira opened the scoring with just 12 seconds remaining in the first period. Kyle Bushee chased down his own dump-in, forcing a battle for the puck, which eventually resulted in Christian Ouellet swinging a pass out to Jordan Pietrus at the left point. Pietrus let a shot go, which was redirected into the back of the net by Ludwig Karlsson.
Midway through the second period, the Jackals added to their lead in a big way, netting three goals in a span of 3:47. The first marker came at the 9:19 mark, when Danny Hobbs dropped a pass to Jean Bourbeau, who squeaked a shot through Mike Condon's legs. Next, Christian Ouellet rifled a one-timer into the top-right corner of the goal, off of a feed from Jakub Culek, while playing on the man advantage. Finally, 1:13 after that, Danny New found the twine, ripping in a drive from the blueline. That goal spelled the end of the night for Condon, marking the first time this season that a goaltender has been pulled for or against the Nailers this year. Wheeling responded quickly, needing only 56 seconds to get on the scoreboard, as Zack Torquato popped a shot over Maxime Clermont's left shoulder for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The Nailers continued to battle back in the third period, as a power play brought them within two goals at the 5:33 mark. Barry Goers connected with Mike Ratchuk for a one-timer, which Ratchuk powered into the top-right corner of the cage for his sixth of the campaign. Despite out shooting Elmira 15-3 in the third and 46-22 in the game, Wheeling wasn't able to get any closer, and Rob Bellamy finished off the 5-2 win with an empty net tally.
Maxime Clermont was splendid in goal for the Jackals, making 44 saves on 46 shots, as he has won three of his last four decisions after starting 0-4-1. Mike Condon surrendered four goals on 16 shots for the Nailers, before Mathieu Corbeil turned away all five shots he faced in relief.
The Nailers will continue their nine-game home stand on Saturday night, when they play the first of back-to-back games against the Florida Everblades.