Wheeling Sweeps The Weekend; Elmira Too

(PR) Wheeling, WV – Andrew Lord and David Marshall each had a goal and an assist, and Patrick Killeen made 39 of 43 saves as the Wheeling Nailers beat the Trenton Devils for the second time in as many days, 5-4, at the WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, WV.

Just as was the case when the teams met on Saturday night, Wheeling’s Joey Haddad opened up the scoring, beating Jeff Lerg at 8:41 of the first period. The goal came just seconds after Trenton’s Tony Zancanaro rang a shot off the post at the other end. Haddad’s tally was the Sydney NS. native’s third score of the season. Trenton stormed back to tie the score just 1:11 later, when on the power play, Jean-Sebastien Berube deflected a Justin Pender point shot past Patrick Killeen for his second marker of the season. The score remained tied until 18:40 of the first period, when with the teams playing four-against-four, Ben Street scored his first-career professional goal, beating Lerg off of a feed by Andrew Lord. The assist was Lord’s fourth point of the two-game weekend series. Wheeling center Darryl Smith was also credited with an assist, his fourth of the season, on Ben Street’s goal which made the score 2-1 in favor of the Nailers.

Seemingly building off their go-ahead goal late in the first period, the Nailers carried the play early in the second, recording seven of the first 10 shots of the middle stanza. But despite the Nailers’ surge in the first half of the second period, it was the Devils who opened the period’s scoring, when Trevor Kell buried his third goal of the campaign past last week’s ECHL Goaltender-of-the-Week, Patrick Killeen, off of a slick feed by Tony Zancanaro. Zancanaro’s assist was his fifth point of the 2010-11 season. As if the satisfaction of their game-tying goal wasn’t enough, the Devils went to work following Kell’s goal, taking the play to the Nailers in the ensuing minutes, which led to a Ryan Hayes power play goal just 1:33 later. Hayes’ second goal of the season, assisted by Jeff Prough and Berube, occurred with one of Saturday’s offensive heroes, Andrew Lord, serving a two-minute penalty for slashing. Hayes’ goal was the Devils’ second power play goal of the contest. But just when it appeared that the momentum had swung firmly in the Devils’ favor, the Nailers re-tied the score at 3-3 just before the period ended, when David Marshall took a pass from Kris Vernarsky at the bottom of the right wing circle, and whipped a quick shot past Lerg for his fourth goal in his first five games in a Nailers’ uniform.

Early in the third period, the Devils took the play to the Nailers, however Kris Vernarsky gave Wheeling the lead, 4-3, at 13:28. David Marshall had broken free of the Devils’ defense, came streaking down the left wing side and fired a hard, low shot which Jeff Lerg kicked out directly to Vernarsky who was driving hard to the net. The goal by Vernarsky, a former Toronto Maple Leaf draft choice, was his first in the ECHL since 2004-05 when he was a member of the Florida Everblades. Following Vernarsky’s goal which made the score 4-3 in favor of the Nailers, the Devils mounted an onslaught of shots against Patrick Killeen, but were continually turned away, until Ryan Hayes knocked a tricky shot from behind the goal line off of Killeen’s back into the net to knot the score with just 1:42 remaining in regulation. But just when it seemed that the game was destined to head into overtime, Andrew Lord beat Lerg in the game’s final minute with a top-shelf shot right off of a faceoff in the Trenton end, for what turned out to be the eventual game-winning goal.

The Devils, with their goaltender pulled, mustered a spirited flurry in the game’s final few seconds, but were unable to come up with another equalizer. With the 5-4 victory, the Nailers sweep the two-game weekend series against the Devils, improving their record to 4-1, and vaulting them into a first place tie with the Kalamazoo Wings atop the Eastern Conference’s North Division. The Devils, now 1-3, have a chance to improve their record when they come home to face the Gwinnett Gladiators in the first half of a two-game series at the Sun National Bank Center in Trenton on Thursday night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m.

(Elmira PR) Reading, Pa. – The Elmira Jackals limited the Reading Royals to just 17 shots on goal on Sunday at the Sovereign Center on their way to a 3-2 victory and a six-point lead in the Atlantic Division. Elmira is unbeaten in regulation through its first five games of the season.

The Jackals scored first for the fifth-straight game when Eric Lampe buried in a puck from the right goal line off of a feed from Patrick Coulombe to make it 1-0 at 15:20 of the first period. Kevin DeVergilio started the play coming out of the penalty box, and the goal was Lampe’s third in the last two games.

Eric Regan’s shot at 9:14 of the second period from the blue line bounced past Royals goaltender Ben Scrivens to give Elmira a power-play goal and a 2-0 lead. Lampe and Brock McBride had the assists on Regan’s first Jackals goal.

At 14:00 of the second, Reading’s Ryan Cruthers nailed a shot from the left circle for a power-play tally for the Royals, making it 2-1 in favor of Elmira.

Michael Dubuc’s neutral-zone interception early in the third period sprung Oren Eizenman on a breakaway late in a Jackals power play. Eizenman fired a shot from the middle of the slot over the glove of Scrivens for what would prove to be the game-winning goal, his second of the season, making it 3-1 at 5:31.

Alain Goulet scored on a long wrist shot through a screen at 13:35 of the final period to bring the Royals to within one, 3-2.

The Jackals defense, however, limited scoring chances for the Royals all game. Elmira was able to gain possession of the puck after a faceoff with 24 seconds remaining in the tilt, eventually dumping the puck down into Reading’s end and sealing the 3-2 victory.

Jackals goaltender Marco Cousineau stopped 15 shots to improve to 3-0-2-0. Elmira poured 39 shots onto Scrivens, who stopped 36 shots in the loss, falling to 1-2-0-0.

The game marked the second time this season the Jackals held an opponent to under 20 shots on goal. Elmira leads the ECHL currently at 23.2 shots allowed per game.

The Jackals division lead is six points after the Trenton Devils lost at Wheeling on Sunday.

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