Nailers Melt IceMen

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The Wheeling Nailers have been lethal during the second period of their current six-game homestand, and on Friday night, that period provided the difference. Wheeling broke a 0-0 tie with three markers in the middle frame, including tallies by Tyler Fernandez and Christiaan Minella, who both extended their goal streaks to five games. Mike Condon was also strong in goal again, as the Nailers defeated the Evansville IceMen, 4-1, lowering their magic number to two points.

After a scoreless first period, the Nailers exploded for three goals in the second, starting with Tyler Fernandez at the 8:13 mark. Shane Bakker dished a pass to Fernandez in the slot, where he roofed a wrist shot over Garrett Bartus' glove for the game's opening goal. Later in the stanza, Christiaan Minella took a pass from Dustin Stevenson, sped up the right side, and also picked the top-right corner for his 11th of the season. 42 seconds after that, Denver Manderson joined the fun, as he broke down the left side of the ice, before also finding the top shelf on the right side of the cage. The goal was Manderson's fourth shorthanded tally of the year, tying Cody Sylvester for the team lead in that category.

Less than one minute into the third period, the IceMen got on the scoreboard, ending Mike Condon's overall shutout streak at 166:40, as well as his home shutout streak at 266:37. The goal was a power play one-timer from the middle of the blueline by defenseman Thomas Larkin. With 5:48 remaining in the contest, Wheeling completed its 4-1 victory with a power play goal of its own, as Mike Ratchuk drilled in a one-timer off of a feed from Sahir Gill, who recorded his 50th point of the campaign.

Mike Condon earned the victory for the Nailers, making 24 saves on 25 shots. Kieran Millan also saw action, stopping both shots he faced in 1:24 of action. Garrett Bartus took the defeat for Evansville, turning away 30 of the 34 shots he faced.

The Nailers will conclude their six-game homestand on Saturday night, when they face the Orlando Solar Bears at 7:00 p.m..


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