Game Recap by Robert Molnar / Above Photo courtesy of Zack Rawson
WHEELING, WV – Riley Brace scored twice while Ty Loney also added a goal and an assist to lead the Wheeling Nailers to a 4-3 victory over the Florida Everblades Saturday night at the WesBanco Arena. The Wheeling Nailers now lead this best-of-seven playoff series 3-2 over the Everblades.
Picking up where they left off Friday night, Wheeling got on the board first midway through the opening period. Taking advantage of a turnover in the Everblades zone, Ty Loney won the race to the puck and turned towards the net. Patiently waiting, Loney swerved right around Everblades goaltender Anthony Peters, backhanding the puck past Peters’ outstretched leg and into the net.
Building some early momentum, Wheeling doubled their lead just before the halfway point of the first period. Getting the puck at the point, Riley Brace fired a slap shot towards the traffic in front of the net. Skipping off the ice, the puck went cleanly through the traffic in front of goal and past Anthony Peters to give the Nailers the early 2-0 lead.
Continuing to build on their lead, Wheeling took advantage of a power play attempt to make the score 3-0 midway through the first period. Getting the puck in the attacking zone, Riley Brace fired a drive towards the net that somehow managed to beat Anthony Peters.
Heading into the second period, Wheeling continued to exert their dominance. Getting the puck to ECHL Defenseman of the Year Mathew Maione, Maione moved towards the high slot area. Sniping a powerful shot underneath the bar and into the back of the net, Maione gave the Nailers a 4-0 lead. The goal also served as the final action of the game for Anthony Peters who was replaced by Rasmus Tirronen following the goal.
Finally breaking the Wheeling goal streak, the ‘Blades got on the board just past the halfway mark of the second period. With three seconds remaining on a power play opportunity, Everblades captain Matt Marquardt corralled a pass from Gabriel Desjardins and ripped his quick shot past Wheeling goaltender Brian Foster.
Continuing to try and reel in Wheeling, the Everblades cut the Nailers lead down to two off of a shorthanded tally from Jon DiSalvatore. Breaking on a 2-on-1 attempt, Kevin Lynch took the puck low into the attacking zone. Backhanding the puck across the face of goal, DiSalvatore flushed the puck high into the net.
Cutting Wheeling’s lead in half, the ‘Blades continued to build momentum late in the game in hope of completing the comeback attempt. Getting the puck into the attacking zone, Brendan O’Donnell threw a shot on goal that went off the pad of Brian Foster. However, the rebound took the puck right to the stick of Ethan Werek whose quick shot buried the puck into the net.
Continuing to pressure the Nailers for the remainder of the game, the Everblades attempted to complete the impossible comeback. Unfortunately, some stellar saves from Brian Foster as well as some missed opportunities late in the game kept that dream from being realized, giving Wheeling the 4-3 victory.
Brian Foster made some stellar saves late in the game, earning the win for the Nailers after stopping 25 of the 29-shots he faced. Anthony Peters suffers the loss in goal for the Everblades, allowing four goals on the 15-shots he faced. Also appearing in goal for the ‘Blades, Rasmus Tirronen stopped all of the 14-shots he faced.
The Florida Everblades now return home for game six Monday night at Germain Arena in what is a must win situation against the Wheeling Nailers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern time. Fan can purchase tickets at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online at www.ticketmaster.com
Fans can also catch the game broadcast on 770 AM or online by CLICKING HERE
The following is a complete schedule the of the best-of-seven series:(Wheeling Leads Series 3-2)Game 1:Friday, April 15, Wheeling - 6 at Florida - 3Game 2: Saturday, April 16, Wheeling - 1 at Florida - 4Game 3: Wednesday, April 20, Florida - 6 at Wheeling - 3Game 4: Friday, April 22, Florida - 4 at Wheeling - 5 Game 5: Saturday, April 23, Florida - 3 at Wheeling - 4Game 6: Monday, April 25, Wheeling at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m.Game 7: Wednesday, April 27, Wheeling at Florida, Germain Arena, 7:30 p.m.**** If Necessary
Game Tickets: Everblades tickets may be purchased at the Florida Community Bank Box Office located at Germain Arena, or at any Ticketmaster outlet, or online atwww.ticketmaster.com
Discounted Group Tickets: Bring your group of 10 or more to a game at a discounted price, and also receive an Everblades souvenir! Group tickets are available for all home games. For more information on group tickets, call 239-948-7825.
2016-17 Season Ticket Plans Now Available: Full and flexible partial season ticket plans are currently available for the 2016-17 season. We offer several tickets packages designed to help fit your budget and schedule. For more information, call 239-948-7825, or stop by the team’s main office located at Germain Arena from Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans may also stop by our sales tables located in the concourse at Everblades games.
The Everblades are the proud ECHL affiliateof the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes###