The Wheeling Nailers, proud ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens, have announced their opponent and schedule for the Eastern Conference Semifinal Round of the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Nailers will face the Greenville Road Warriors in a best-of-seven series, beginning on Saturday night at WesBanco Arena.
During the 2013-14 regular season, the Nailers and Road Warriors finished with identical 39-27-6 records, which placed the two clubs in a sixth place tie with 84 points. However, thanks to a 36-34 advantage in regulation/overtime wins, Wheeling earned the tiebreaker, thus grabbing home ice advantage in this best-of-seven series. In order to reach the Eastern Conference Semifinals, both the Nailers and Road Warriors had to upset their previous opponent, as Wheeling swept third-seeded South Carolina in four games, while Greenville took down second-seeded Kalamazoo in six games.
The Nailers and Road Warriors clashed three times during the regular season, with Wheeling earning two victories in those three contests. On November 2nd, the Nailers rallied back from a 3-1 deficit, scoring four times in the third period for a 5-3 comeback win, led by Cody Sylvester's first two professional goals. On January 17th, Wheeling again worked third period magic, snapping a 2-2 tie with three goals in the third, with Chaz Johnson's shorthanded tally serving as the game winner. Finally, on January 18th, the Road Warriors gained their lone win of the season series, as a 40-save shutout by Jason Missiaen propelled Greenville to the 3-0 decision. The November game took place at WesBanco Arena, while the two in January were both at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
This is the second time that Wheeling and Greenville will meet in the postseason, as the two sides also decided a second round series during the 2011 Kelly Cup Playoffs. In one of the most memorable moments in the team's 22-year history, the Nailers came out on top, 4-3 in the best-of-seven series, thanks to Chris Kushneriuk's goal at 8:23 of overtime in game seven. Five of the seven games in that series were decided by one goal, including all four victories for Wheeling.
The 2014 Eastern Conference Semifinal Series between the Wheeling Nailers and Greenville Road Warriors will begin at WesBanco Arena on Saturday and Sunday, with game one starting at 7:00 and game two beginning at 6:00.
Tickets for the series are available for purchase by calling the Nailers at (304) 234-GOAL.
Eastern Conference Semifinal Wheeling Nailers vs. Greenville Road Warriors Sat. May 3rd AT WHEELING, 7:00 Sun. May 4th AT WHEELING, 6:00 Tue. May 6th at Greenville, 7:00 Thu. May 8th at Greenville, 7:00 Fri. May 9th at Greenville, 7:00 (if necessary) Mon. May 12th AT WHEELING, 7:00 (if necessary) Wed. May 14th AT WHEELING, 7:00 (if necessary)