(PR) Atlantic City, NJ – ECHL hockey returned to Boardwalk Hall Sunday for the first time since the 2005 Kelly Cup Playoffs, but Trenton couldn’t recapture the magic of its series win against the Boardwalk Bullies from six years ago, instead falling the Wheeling Nailers, 4-3.
John May scored his second goal of the season just two minutes into the game and David Marshall followed up with his eighth goal of the season, a power play goal, two minutes later to set the tone in the third and final game of the weekend between the Devils and Nailers. Andrew Orpik picked up assists on both goals as the Nailers swept the three-game, three-city tour that began in Johnstown on Friday night and finished Sunday at historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
After scoring four goals in under two minutes late in the third period to upset the Devils Saturday, the Nailers opened the scoring for the first time this weekend with two quick goals inside the first four minutes of Sunday’s game. Marshall’s power play goal was the Nailers’ fifth extra-man marker of the weekend, going 5-for-19 (26%) in the three games against Trenton.
Mikael Bedard beat Shane Connelly midway through the second period to extend the Wheeling lead to 3-0 as Peter Delmas continued to deny the Devils into the second intermission.
The third period saw the Devils come out firing, pouring 15 shots on goal, after just 17 combined through the opening two frames. Taylor Vichorek and Tony Zancanaro scored early in the third period to cut the Wheeling lead down to 3-2 with twelve minutes remaining in regulation. Vichorek got the Devils on the board 1:53 into the period, beating Delmas for his third goal of the season, unassisted. Zancanaro scored his third goal in the last two games on a delayed penalty, assisted by Trevor Kell and Jeremy Akeson, to draw the Devils within just a goal, but the comeback effort fell short of tying the game.
Just as the Devils began to seize momentum and the crowd of 2,568 started to grow louder, Joey Haddad pushed a loose puck past Connelly to restore the Nailers’ two-goal cushion. Haddad received first-star honors for scoring the eventual game-winner, plus the earlier assist. Darcy Zajac scored a power play goal with 11:36 left in the third period to bring the Devils back to within a goal but Wheeling clamped down defensively and denied Trenton the tying goal to secure the weekend sweep.
The loss drops the Devils to 14-22-1-3 with 32 points and the win propels Wheeling to 24-15-0-2 with 50 points on the season. Following this week’s all-star break, Trenton will next be in action Friday in Toledo at 7 p.m. before facing the Nailers two more times: Saturday in Wheeling and Sunday in Johnstown.