ELMIRA, N.Y. - At the midway mark of the second period Saturday night, the Wheeling Nailers found themselves in a 3-1 hole. However, the visitors rallied, forcing overtime, thanks to Tyler Fernandez's goal with 12:09 remaining in regulation. Unfortunately, Wheeling couldn't take home the second point, as Jakub Culek gave the Elmira Jackals the 4-3 win at 1:38 of overtime.
For the third game in a row, the Nailers opened the scoring. After Jacob Lagace deflected Zach McCullough's attempt from the middle of the blueline, he tipped Myles Harvey's pass out to center ice, springing Jack MacLellan on the right side. MacLellan flew into the offensive zone, then put on the breaks, as he snapped a shot into the right side of the cage. The Jackals evened the score later in the period, when Dane Walters centered the puck to Andrew Harrison, who picked the top-right corner of the goal.
Early in the second period, Elmira built off of its first period tally, taking the lead for the first time in the contest. After Steve Brown was crunched in center ice, Christian Ouellet dished a pass through the slot for Matt Carter, who roofed a shot from the left circle. A little more than five minutes later, the Jackals upped their lead, when Jordan Pietrus lifted a shot in from an extremely sharp angle. Pietrus' goal came just seven seconds after a Wheeling penalty had expired. With 7:46 to go in the middle frame, the Nailers brought themselves within one. Colin Mulvey pushed the puck down the right wing boards to Sahir Gill, who set up Max MacKay in the right circle. MacKay gathered in the pass, before ripping it into the back of the net. After trailing 22-9 in shots on goal, Wheeling rallied with 10 of the final 14 shots in the period.
The comeback kids known as the Nailers came back to tie the score once again, earning a point for the sixth time this season, when trailing after two periods. At the 7:51 mark of the third, Fernandez scooped up a loose puck on the left side of the net, shoveling it just underneath the crossbar, knotting the game at 3-3.
Both teams earned a point, as the tilt progressed to a shootout for the second night in a row, and unfortunately for Wheeling, that's where the fun stopped. At the 1:38 mark, while playing 3-on-3, Jakub Culek netted the winner for Elmira, squeezing a shot through Mathieu Corbeil's legs.
Scott Greenham earned the victory for the Jackals, making 31 saves on 34 shots. Corbeil suffered the overtime defeat for the Nailers, despite stopping 33 of the 37 shots he faced.
The Nailers will visit the Reading Royals on at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, before returning home at 7 Thursday night for a contest against the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Wheeling 1 1 1 0 - 3
Elmira 1 2 0 1 - 4
1st Period-1, Wheeling, MacLellan 7 (Lagace, Harvey), 11:06. 2, Elmira, Harrison 1 (Walters, Bourbeau), 16:16. Penalties-Lamarche Elm (tripping), 13:32.
2nd Period-3, Elmira, Carter 9 (Brown, Ouellet), 3:12. 4, Elmira, Pietrus 5 (Bourbeau, Rutkowski), 8:18. 5, Wheeling, MacKay 5 (Mulvey, Gill), 12:14. Penalties-Pietrus Elm (cross-checking), 3:54; McGrath Whl (instigating, fighting - major, game misconduct - aggressor), 6:11; Brown Elm (fighting - major), 6:11; Bakker Whl (cross-checking), 19:58.
3rd Period-6, Wheeling, Fernandez 5 (Cianfrini), 7:51. Penalties-McCullough Elm (boarding), 2:35.
OT Period-7, Elmira, Culek 6 1:38. Penalties-Pietrus Elm (tripping), 1:05; MacKay Whl (slashing ), 1:24; MacKay Whl (misconduct - unsportsmanlike conduct), 1:38.
Shots on Goal-Wheeling 5-14-14-1-34. Elmira 14-12-10-1-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Wheeling 0 / 4; Elmira 0 / 3.
Goalies-Wheeling, Corbeil 3-1-1-0 (37 shots-33 saves). Elmira, Greenham 6-8-1-1 (34 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Peter Tarnaris (23).
Linesmen-Shaun Morgan (71), Joe DeMizio (59).