Wheeling Off To Record Start

After winning their first two games for the first time in five years, the Wheeling Nailers are 2-0-0 and tied with Elmira for the North Division lead after opening weekend.

Wheeling opened the season on Friday with a 7-5 win against defending Kelly Cup champion Cincinnati and won 4-2 at Johnstown on Saturday.

The Nailers will try to begin the season with three straight wins for the first time ever when they host Cincinnati on Friday. Wheeling continues its home stand on Saturday and Sunday when it hosts Trenton. The 2003-04 team was 2-1-0 after three games and 4-1-0 after five games.

Wheeling began 2003-04 with back-to-back wins and went on to finish first in the North Division at 51-17-4 and return to the postseason for the first time since 1997-98. Wheeling set team records for points (106), wins (51), home wins (28), road wins (23) and fewest goals allowed (188) and Pat Bingham, who is now an assistant coach for Bridgeport in the American Hockey League, was named ECHL Coach of the Year.

The Nailers rank second in the league in scoring with 5.50 goals per game after ranking 23rd a year ago with 2.58 goals per game. Rookie Tommy Goebel and Rob Sirianni are tied for the team lead with three assists and four points while Nick Johnson leads the Nailers and is tied for the league rookie lead with three goals.

Elmira opened with back-to-back wins for the second straight year, winning 5-2 against Reading on Friday and 3-2 at Trenton on Sunday. The Jackals visit Johnstown on Wednesday before hosting Augusta on Friday and Saturday.