The Wheeling Nailers won't like to remember the start of Friday
night's game, but the finish was absolutely memorable. The Nailers fell
behind 4-0 at the start of the second period against the Elmira
Jackals, only to rally back for the final six goals, including five in 14:58
during the second period. Wheeling secured its tenth win of the season
against Elmira, taking a 6-4 final score back to West Virginia.
After getting dominated in their home building on Sunday, the Jackals came out with a much different look in the opening period. Jean Bourbeau started the scoring at the 6:29 mark, when he redirected Jakub Culek's blueline opportunity through Eric Hartzell's legs. 1:40 later, Elmira added to the lead, when Patch Alber found himself with a chance in the slot, which he deposited along the ice. Then, with 7:42 remaining, the Jackals picked up a third goal in the frame, when Mike Vaskivuo stole a pass in the slot, before ripping a shot into the left side of the cage.
Early in the second period, the Jackals added one more goal to their lead, when Danny Hobbs finished off a cross-crease pass by Kyle Bushee. 64 seconds later, Shane Bakker began to turn the momentum onto Wheeling's side, as he dropped the mitts with Harry Young. The Nailers fed off of the fight, starting with Anton Zlobin's breakaway goal at 4:49. Paul Cianfrini whipped a pass to Zlobin at the offensive blueline, and Zlobin proceeded to split the defense, as well as Scott Greenham's legs. Dustin Stevenson cut the deficit to two at the 8:45 mark, when his left circle wrist shot beat Greenham on the stick side. 1:13 after that, Zack Torquato made the score 4-3, when he powered home a one-timer from Zlobin at the top of the right circle. Cody Sylvester tied the game at the 11:37 mark when he batted in the rebound of Stevenson's initial shot, and Peter Merth finally gave the Nailers the 5-4 lead, when he finished off a rush with Cianfrini and Tyler Fernandez, roofing a wrist shot from the left face-off dot.
The scoring subsided for the most part in the third period, as Hartzell and Neil Conway kept the respective squads at bay. With 50.8 seconds to go, Sylvester capped the scoring, knocking in an empty net goal for a 6-4 Wheeling triumph.
Eric Hartzell got the win in his first game back with the Nailers, making 27 saves on 31 shots. Scott Greenham was the losing goaltender for the Jackals, allowing five goals on 26 shots, before being replaced by Neil Conway, who went 6-for-6 in relief.
The Nailers will return home on Saturday night for a 7:00 p.m. game against the Reading Royals.