During the regular season, Mike Ratchuk always found himself in the overtime spotlight, as he scored four goals in that scenario. On Tuesday night, he added a postseason overtime winner to his tally. With 8:18 gone by in the extra session, Ratchuk slid a shot through goaltender Jason Missiaen, propelling the Wheeling Nailers to a 3-2 victory, after being forced to overtime in the final minute of regulation. Wheeling now trails the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
The Nailers opened the scoring at the 2:54 mark of the first period. Dustin Stevenson stepped in with a shot from the left wing wall that was gloved away by Jason Missiaen. However, the rebound popped out to the front of the crease, where it was slammed through Missiaen's legs by Tom Kuhnhackl. The goal was Kuhnhackl's team-leading fifth of the playoffs, while Cody Sylvester, playing in his first postseason, drew an assist along with Stevenson.
Early in the second period, Wheeling extended its lead with a power play goal. Zack Torquato gloved down a clearing attempt at the left point, before sliding a pass to Sahir Gill in the slot. Gill made one more pass, connecting with Cody Sylvester in the right circle. Sylvester teed up a slap shot, which flew into the right side of the cage. With 4:47 to go in the middle frame, Greenville got on the scoreboard, courtesy of a fortunate bounce. Josh Nicholls tapped the puck to the right of the crease, where it deflected in on a non-kicking motion off of Andrew Yogan's skate.
With just 12.2 seconds left in the third period, the Road Warriors battled back to force overtime for the second straight contest. With Greenville controlling the play in the offensive zone, Andrew Rowe hooked up with Michael St. Croix, who ripped in a shot from the left circle.
Unlike Sunday, this overtime story had a different ending, as the Nailers completed their first win of the series at the 8:18 mark of bonus hockey. Christiaan Minella took a slap shot from the top of the left circle, which was blocked. However, the rebound kicked out to Mike Ratchuk, who made a move high in the slot, before sliding in the winning tally. Between the regular season and playoffs, Ratchuk has scored five overtime goals.
Mike Condon secured the win in goal for Wheeling, stopping 40 of the 42 shots he faced. Jason Missiaen suffered the overtime loss for Greenville, despite making 39 saves on 42 shots.
The Nailers and Road Warriors will do battle in game four on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. in Greenville. If the series heads back to Wheeling, game six would be on Monday at 7:00 p.m..