The Wheeling Nailers held on for dear life and lived to tell about it on Thursday night in game four of their best-of-seven series with the Greenville Road Warriors. With Wheeling ahead 3-2 late in the third period, the Road Warriors received back-to-back power plays, forcing some of the best defense of the season. Sahir Gill's shorthanded marker at 5:23 of the second stood as the game winner, as the Nailers evened the series, 2-2.
For the third straight game and sixth time this postseason, the Nailers opened the scoring. Chaz Johnson stole a loose puck in the right circle of the offensive zone, before curling his way around the back of the net. He then slid a pass out to Paul Cianfrini at the left point. Cianfrini let a slap shot go, which was deflected in by Tyler Fernandez in the slot. Greenville tied the game at the 13:10 mark. Andrew Rowe led a 3-on-2 rush through neutral ice, along with Michael St. Croix and Justin Vaive. Rowe touched the puck to his right for St. Croix, before Vaive finished off the marker from the left side of the slot. Wheeling regained its advantage with 1:19 to go in the frame. Zack Torquato won an offensive zone draw out to Mike Ratchuk, who quickly whipped in a shot from the right point.
The Nailers added a goal in the second period, recording the first shorthanded tally for either side in the series. Cody Sylvester and Sahir Gill battled the puck out to neutral ice, ultimately forcing a turnover at the Greenville defensive blueline. Sahir Gill capitalized, picking up the loose puck in the high slot, before racing in, and drilling a shot through Jeff Malcolm's legs.
With 5:40 gone by in the third period, the Road Warriors closed the gap to one. Andrew Yogan settled down a bouncing puck behind the Wheeling goal, spraying a pass through the slot for Scott Arnold, who scored from the left side. Despite being ahead, the Nailers had to hold on tight, as the game concluded. Greenville was on the power play for the final 2:47 of the third period, as the home team took 18 of its 49 shots during the final frame. However, thanks to multiple saves and shot blocks, Wheeling won, 3-2.
Mike Condon was tremendous in goal for the Nailers, as he stopped 47 of the 49 shots he faced for the victory. Jeff Malcolm took the loss for Greenville, despite making 34 saves on 37 shots.
The Nailers and Road Warriors will do battle again in Greenville on Friday at 7:05 p.m. , before the series heads back to Wheeling on Monday at 7:00 p.m. .