TOLEDO, OHIO- The Wheeling Nailers saved their best for last on Sunday afternoon, as they visited the Toledo Walleye at Huntington Center. Trailing 1-0 most of the way, Wheeling rattled off four goals in a row in the third period, and got a fantastic goaltending performance from Emil Larmi, who made 47 saves, as the Nailers earned a 4-1 road victory.
Both teams had lots of chances in the first period, as they combined for 28 shots on goal. The lone puck to find the twine came off a Toledo stick at the 4:14 mark. Steve Oleksy swiped the puck into the slot for Branden Troock, who dribbled a shot through Emil Larmi’s legs. Former Nailer Kevin Spinozzi also recorded an assist on the opening strike.
After a scoreless second period, Wheeling rallied with a huge final frame, erasing the small deficit to come away with a big victory. Blake Siebenaler got the outburst started on the power play, when he banked a shot off goaltender Pat Nagle from beneath the goal line. Renars Krastenbergs put the Nailers in the lead on a breakaway, as he took a Yushiroh Hirano lead pass and swept a backhander through Nagle’s legs. Brandon Hawkins provided insurance with the teams playing 4-on-4, as he buried a drop pass from Graham Knott. Alec Butcher put the finishing touches on the 4-1 triumph with a shorthanded empty netter.
Emil Larmi was brilliant in goal for Wheeling, as he denied 47 of the 48 shots he faced. Pat Nagle made 29 saves on 32 shots in the loss for the Walleye.
The Nailers will play two more road games before the All-Star Break next weekend, when they visit Kalamazoo on Friday at 7:00, then Indy on Saturday at 6:05. Wheeling’s next home game is Friday, January 24th at 7:05, which is also a Frosty Friday against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Cincinnati sticks around for Saturday, January 25th, which is Pups & Pucks, as fans can bring their dog to the game. The next Big 6 Promotional Game is Country Roads on Saturday, February 1st against the Orlando Solar Bears, with a special 7:35 start time. Friends & Family 4 Packs presented by WTRF-7 are available for all Saturday home games, and feature four tickets, four Tito’s Sloppy Doggs, and a $10 voucher to the Team Shop for $52. The Wheeling Nailers, considered one of the top things to do in Wheeling, West Virginia, provide affordable family entertainment for fans throughout the Ohio Valley. For information on season tickets, group tickets, partial plans, and more, call (304) 234-GOAL.