Home wins against San Diego and a road win at Trenton extended Wheeling’s winning streak to six games which has allowed Nailers to move into first place in the North Division of the National Conference with 58 points, four points ahead of Toledo (25-15-4) and six points ahead of Atlantic City (23-14-6). Reading is in fourth place with 51 points (24-14-3), one point ahead of Trenton (22-13-6) and five points ahead of Peoria (21-16-4) which has won its last four games and nine of its last 10.
The Nailers will play at Alaska (26-15-4) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Joe Exter is 6-0-0 with three shutouts, a goals-against average of 1.16 and a save percentage of .960 during the streak and he has suffered only one loss since All-Star goaltender Dany Sabourin was called up to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. Under contract to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Exter has evened his record at 7-7-0 while lowering his goals-against average from 3.60 to 2.80 and raising his save percentage from .895 to .912. Sabourin is tied for the league lead with a team record five shutouts while Exter is tied for third with three shutouts. The Nailers lead the league with eight shutouts, three shy of the Wheeling’s ECHL record 11 shutouts in 2003-04.
Yevgeny Lazarev leads the Nailers offensively during the streak with five goals, including the game winner in three consecutive games, and eight points while defenseman Ray DiLauro has an assist in five straight games (5a). Brendon Hodge did not record a point on Sunday, ending his 12-game scoring streak which ties the ECHL season-high set by Charlotte’s Mike Harder from October 22-November 20. Hodge, who has seven points (1g-6a) during the current winning streak, scored 14 points (3g-11a) in the 12 games.