(PR) Wheeling, WV – Looking to win the second game of a back-to-back for the first time since the season’s opening weekend, the Devils couldn’t build off an early 1-0 lead as Wheeling scored three second period goals en route to a 5-2 victory over Trenton Thursday night at WesBanco Arena.
Jeremy Akeson scored to give Trenton a 1-0 lead on the power play at 7:57 of the first period, with Ryan Ginand and Justin Pender earning helpers. However, it was Trenton’s only lead of the night as Wheeling’s Ben Street, Jason DeSantis and Alex Smigelski scored in a 7:47 span in the second half of the second period to open up a two-goal lead for the Nailers, who entered the night with four shutout losses at home.
Andy Thomas narrowed Wheeling’s lead to 3-2 3:38 into the third period by notching his first goal of the season. Thomas’s first goal since March 5 of last season beat Patrick Killeen just under the crossbar, with Matt Lombardi and Taylor Vichorek credited with assists. The Devils never completed the comeback though, as 5:07 after Trenton made the score 3-2, Kris Vernarsky restored the Nailers’ two-goal advantage by scoring for the third time this season against the Devils.
The Devils pulled goaltender Mike Brown for an extra attacker late in the third period, but couldn’t produce any offense. With 52 seconds remaining, Mountain Lakes, NJ native Alex Smigelski scored his second goal of the game into the empty net to seal a 5-2 win for Wheeling, giving the Nailers their third win in four games over the Devils this season.
Brown stopped 30 of 34 shots in defeat as the Devils’ record slips to 8-9-0-1 and 4-5 on the road. With their win, the Nailers are now 10-10-0-0. Trenton returns home for a Saturday game with the Reading Royals at Sun National Bank Center at 7:00 p.m.