The Greenville Road Warriors made life difficult on the Wheeling Nailers in game two of the Eastern Conference Semifinal on Sunday night at WesBanco Arena. Greenville trailed 3-1 in the third period, but battle back to tie the game, before Josh Nicholls ultimately scored the winning goal at 9:19 of overtime for a 4-3 Road Warriors triumph. Greenville leads the series, 2-0.
With 8:47 gone by in the first period, the Nailers struck for the game's opening goal. Denver Manderson whipped a shot wide from the right circle, with the puck swinging around the boards and up the left side. Dustin Stevenson stepped up from the blueline, immediately sending a shot on goal, which found its way in through traffic. Despite only featuring one goal, the first frame featured plenty of action, as the two sides combined for 28 shots, and there was also a fight between Shane Bakker and Samuel Noreau.
Early in the second period, Wheeling extended the lead, while operating on the power play. Max MacKay worked the puck out to Denver Manderson at the left point. With the defense backed off, Manderson skated into the high slot, drilling a slap shot over Jason Missiaen's glove. Later in the frame, the Road Warriors recorded their first goal of the evening. Jordie Johnston pushed a defensive zone draw ahead, leading Emerson Clark through neutral ice. Clark centered a pass to Scott Arnold, who potted the goal off of the right post and in.
31 seconds into the third period, the Nailers regained their two-goal advantage with a power play goal. Zack Torquato picked up the puck on the left side, skated into the high slot, and wristed a shot into the top-left corner of the goal. MacKay and Gill assisted on the tally, earning their ninth and seventh points of the playoffs respectively. Greenville battled back with a power play goal of its own at 6:52, making the score 3-2. Andrew Yogan took a shot from the left side of the slot, ringing it off of the crossbar and into the net. Then, with 6:52 left in regulation, the Road Warriors forced overtime. Kyle Jean batted in a loose puck on the right side of the net, tying the game 3-3.
At 9:19 of overtime, Greenville completed its comeback win. Andrew Yogan's shot from the right side was stopped by Mike Condon, but the rebound was put back in by Josh Nicholls on his backhand for the 4-3 final score.
Jason Missiaen earned the win for the Road Warriors, stopping 42 of the 45 shots he faced. Mike Condon also made 42 saves, but suffered the overtime loss for Wheeling.
The Nailers and Road Warriors will do battle in game three on Tuesday at 7:00. If the series returns to Wheeling, the next game at WesBanco Arena would be game six on May 12th at 7:00.