Nailers move to top of North Division

Going undefeated in their last four games, including a 2-0-1 mark last week, has moved the Wheeling Nailers into first place in the North Division with an overall record of 13-9-3 for 29 points, one point ahead of Toledo.

The Nailers began last week with a 2-1 win at Indy on Thursday. Matt Tabrum opened the scoring with his first pro goal in his first pro shift and Derek Army broke a 1-1 tie midway through the third period to provide the final. Brian Foster picked up the win in goal, stopping 30 of the 31 Fuel shots he faced.

On Friday, Wheeling visited Toledo in the first meeting between the teams since a seven-game series in the North Division Semifinals in last spring’s Kelly Cup Playoffs. Despite combining for 71 shots on goal through regulation and overtime, the game went to a shootout tied 1-1 where the Walleye picked up the only goal giving Toledo the win. Riley Brace scored the lone goal for the Nailers in regulation while Franky Palazzese took the hard-luck loss, turning aside 36 Toledo shots.

Wheeling hosted Toledo in the back end of the home-and-home series on Saturday and skated away with a 6-2 win. John McCarron (2g), Paul Cianfrini (2a) and Brace (2a) led the Nailers’ offense with two points each while Foster recorded the win with 21 saves.

Brace leads the Nailers, and is tied for ninth overall in the league, with 24 points (10g-14a) while Zack Torquato leads the team with 11 goals despite playing in just 19 of 25 games.

The Nailers hit the road for a pair of games this weekend, visiting Quad City for the first time in team history on Friday and Saturday.