For the third game in a row, the Wheeling Nailers needed bonus hockey to decide a final result, and for the second time in as many nights, they grabbed the bonus point in front of their home fans.
Sahir Gill and Max
MacKay netted goals in the shootout, while Mike Condon stopped all four
of Cincinnati's attempts, as the Nailers earned a 2-1 victory. Wheeling
is now 10-0-2 in its last 12 games.
After receiving a motivational speech from WWE Hall-of-Famer Sgt. Slaughter before the game, the Nailers came flying out of the dressing room, scoring the first goal in a matter of 36 seconds. Barry Goers poked the puck through neutral ice to Sahir Gill, who ripped a shot into the top-left corner of the net.
Defense and goaltending served as major factors in the contest, as the two teams were limited to 46 combined shots on goal during regulation. Mike Condon and Michael Houser both entered the game in the league's top ten in goals against average, and both improved their numbers with their efforts on Saturday.
The score remained 1-0 until the 14:22 mark of the third, when the Cyclones drew even. Drew Daniels settled down a bouncing puck, before setting up Wade Megan, who lifted a shot into the top-right corner of the cage, ultimately forcing overtime.
Despite seven combined shots on goal in the five minutes, a shootout was necessary for the second straight head-to-head meeting. Unlike Sunday, this one went Wheeling's way, as Sahir Gill scored in round two, Max MacKay scored in round four, and the cage behind Condon stayed empty.
Mike Condon earned his tenth win of the season for the Nailers, denying 28 of the 29 shots he faced during the game, before going 4-for-4 in the shootout. Michael Houser took the shootout loss for Cincinnati, despite making 23 saves on 24 shots during the game.
The Nailers will continue their nine-game homestand on Thursday night, when they play host to the Elmira Jackals at 7:00.