Jackals fall at Wheeling
The Elmira Jackals saw their four game winning streak against the Wheeling Nailers snapped on Wednesday night in a 6-2 loss at WesBanco Arena. Elmira's record dipped to 38-25-7 on the season.
Elmira was not able to get out to the start it was looking for as Wheeling registered nine of the first 11 shots of the game. That was all within the first six minutes of the opening period, but solid work by Ian Keserich in the Elmira goal kept the Nailers at bay. But with the Jackals unable to sustain much pressure in the attacking zone, Wheeling kept chipping away until it finally cashed in. While working on a power play, Zach Torquato sent a wrist shot on goal from the center point that was deflected past Keserich by Paul Crowder. The goal came with 2:34 left in the first and was enough to send Wheeling into the second with the lead. Elmira managed six shots on Wheeling starter Scott Darlling in the first.
The Nailers came out firing in the second period and had ideas of putting the game out of reach. Cam Fergus and Matt Germain scored in a span of 1:37 before the period was even two minutes old to grab a 3-0 advantage. The Jackals put their collective foot down and answered back with a pair of quick strikes to make a game of it. Matt Tassone, working from behind the net, wrapped the puck behind darling for his third goal in the last four games. Steven Kaunisto followed with his second in three 2:13 later for a 3-2 score. Things took a dramatic turn in Wheeling's favor, though, when a point shot by Adam Ross deflected off of a Jackal in front and past Keserich midway through the period. Back up by two, the Nailers got aggressive and put the Jackals in penalty trouble in the last two minutes. Just as a 5-on-3 power play expired, Kevin Veilleux blasted a one-timer past Keserich to restore Wheeling's three goal lead with 55 seconds left in the period.
Elmira faced an uphill battle in the third to try to make a game of it, and the Jackals gave a valiant effort. They launched 14 shots Darling's way but each one met the same fate and was swallowed up by the Nailers' netminder. Crowder finished off Wheeling's strong night on the power play by pushing a rebound through Keserich's pads at 6:20 of the third. It was the Nailers' third power play goal on five chances, and Crowder's second of the night.
Keserich shouldered his third loss of the season with 37 saves on 43 shots. Elmira was 0-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-6 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals are back on First Arena ice on Friday, March 29, 2013 to take on the Trenton Titans at 7:05 p.m.