The Wheeling Nailers ended the first half of the 2014-15 regular season on Sunday afternoon, and unfortunately, did so in heartbreaking fashion. Tyler Donati scored a breakaway goal with 1.8 seconds left in the third period, allowing the Brampton Beast to salvage a 2-1 win in the weekend finale.
The first two periods were a goaltending showcase, as Wheeling’s Franky Palazzese and Brampton’s Grant Rollheiser kept the game scoreless on 42 shots. The Beast finally broke the deadlock at the 1:40 mark of the third period. Elgin Reid took a slap shot from the blueline, which was redirected into the net by Bobby Hughes. Wheeling tied the game midway through the final stanza, utilizing a power play to do so. After Rollheiser made a save on the initial attempt, Riley Brace found the loose puck at the side of the net, tipping it in for the equalizer. With 1.8 seconds to go, the Beast escaped with the victory, as David Ling faked a slap shot in center ice, feeding Tyler Donati ahead for a breakaway. Donati roofed a wrist shot over Franky Palazzese’s right shoulder for the 2-1 final score.
Grant Rollheiser stood tall in the win for Brampton, stopping 42 of the 43 shots he faced. Franky Palazzese suffered a difficult defeat for Wheeling, making 27 saves on 29 shots.
The Nailers will resume play after the All-Star Game on Friday night at 7:35 against the Fort Wayne Komets.