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Nailers Keep Pace In Playoff Chase With Win Sunday

Updated: Sunday, March 30 2014, 11:10 PM EDT

WHEELING, WV- Goals have been coming in bunches for the Wheeling Nailers as of late, as they entered Sunday with five-or-more tallies in six of their last 12 games. That total now stands at seven of the last 13, as the Nailers erased a 1-0 deficit with five unanswered goals from five different players, giving the home team a 5-1 victory at WesBanco Arena.


The Jackals picked up the only goal of the first period, as they connected for a power play goal at the 9:56 mark. Daniel Koger snapped a pass through the slot to Artem Demkov, who ripped a quick wrist shot into the left side of the cage. Mike Vaskivuo also assisted on Demkov's tally, as Elmira carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.


Wheeling quickly turned the game into its favor in the middle frame, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in a matter of 62 seconds. Tom Kuhnhackl put the Nailers on the board at the 28-second mark, when he followed up Cody Sylvester's initial shot by blasting in a slap shot from the left circle. 34 seconds later, Wheeling took its first lead of the afternoon. Shane Bakker skated down the right side of the ice, before letting a shot go. Bakker's shot was blocked, but the rebound tipped out to Tyler Fernandez, who scored with a backhander. Later in the stanza, the Nailers upped their advantage, as Mike Ratchuk fired in a wrist shot from the right circle, giving him 15 goals, to lead all ECHL defensemen this season.


Midway through the third period, Wheeling added another insurance tally, as Max MacKay dragged the puck to the front of the net, before Christiaan Minella slid the biscuit to his backhand, flipping a shot into the left side of the goal. 1:22 later, Chaz Johnson completed the scoring in the 5-1 win, as he wheeled his way into the offensive zone, ultimately lighting the lamp from the right side of the slot.


Wheeling's win was its 12th of the season against Elmira, matching a team record set in 2005-06 against Dayton. The 25 points against the Jackals set a new team record for most against one opponent in a single season.


The Nailers will continue their six-game homestand on Tuesday night, when they face the Toledo Walleye at 7:00.

Nailers Keep Pace In Playoff Chase With Win Sunday


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