The 2013-14 Wheeling Nailers put together some remarkable memories, as they racked up 45 wins between the regular season and playoffs. Unfortunately, the final game did not end with the hoisting of the club's first Kelly Cup. On Monday night, the Greenville Road Warriors received a 31-save shutout from Jason Missiaen, as they defeated Wheeling, 4-0 at WesBanco Arena, winning the best-of-seven series, 4-2.
Greenville drew first blood quickly in the first period, netting two goals in a span of 17 seconds. The opening tally came at the 5:05 mark, when Kyle Jean led Andrew Yogan down the left side of the ice. Yogan flew through the offensive zone, curling around the back of the net, before jamming in a wraparound shot for his third goal of the series. The second goal belonged to Michael St. Croix, who crashed the net, tapping in the rebound of Andrew Rowe's sharp-angled shot from the left side. The pace of the first frame tilted back and forth, as the Road Warriors took the first ten shots, before the Nailers answered with 14 of the final 15.
At the 8:42 mark of the second period, the visitors extended their lead with a power play goal. Andrew Rowe took a pass from Andrew Yogan at the middle of the offensive blueline, with Justin Vaive providing a screen at the top of the crease. Rowe took his shot, and Vaive picked up the marker, redirecting the puck into the top-right corner of the goal.
With 18:26 left in the third period, Greenville closed out its victory with one final goal. Sam Klassen set up Josh Nicholls, who squeezed in a shot from the right circle, giving the game a 4-0 score.
Jason Missiaen earned his first shutout of the playoffs, as he was perfect on 31 shots for the Road Warriors. Mike Condon suffered the loss for Wheeling, making 19 saves on 23 shots.
The Wheeling Nailers close out the 2013-14 season (their 22nd in team history), going 39-27-1-5 in the regular season and 6-4 in the playoffs.
The 2014-15 regular season will begin on October 18th at WesBanco Arena.