WHEELING, W.Va.- On a night with his dad in attendance, Cam Hausinger scored a hat trick, including two power-play goals, to lead Wheeling past Cincinnati 4-1. Nailers goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon also played a strong role in the victory stopping 32-of-33 shots faced, including multiple tough saves with Wheeling killing a 5-on-3 power play for Cincinnati.
A scoreless and evenly played first period started the night. Even though, according to Nailers bench boss Derek Army, the team started on its heels a bit. Guindon was tested with a couple of tough early shots by the Cyclones, he made excellent saves that seemed to give the team a boost.
In the second, the Nailers really seemed to kick it up a notch as they started to control the play both in terms of shots and time of possession. Wheeling forward Matt Alfaro took a slashing penalty and Cincinnati forward Lukas Craggs took a slashing and unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty to give Wheeling a power play 6:53 into the middle stanza. 59 seconds into the power play, the Nailers would strike. A pass found Hausinger along the goal line and he snapped a shot into the glove hand side of the net behind Cyclone goalie Sean Bonar to give the Nailers a 1-0 lead.
“…..they kind of got us going and the next thing we knew we were playing o-zone play; we were kind of back to what we wanted to do and back to how we wanted to play,” Army said about the second period.
Wheeling would hold the 1-0 lead into the second intermission, however two late penalties in the second would the Nailers start the final frame killing a 5-on-3 for 1:18. Nearly surviving the entire kill, former Nailer Yushiroh Hirano scored on a rebound just seconds after the first penalty ended but before the second one. The goal was Hirano’s sixth of the season on the power play and 12th overall.
A Nick Boca minor would put Wheeling back on the power play and set up Hausinger for his second goal of the night. Good passing in the zone set up the play the allowed him to flip the puck in past Bonar and the Nailers back to the lead.
“I think [Alfaro] worked them through the seams with [Chris] Ortiz and it opened me up back-door and all I really had to do was tap it in,” Hausinger said of the game-winning strike on the power play at 4:15 of the third.
“We had a good kill, unfortunately they scored with four seconds left on kind of a flukey [goal] after killing two minutes of 3-on-5; but it was great. And as the power play goes, you respond. They score to make it 1-1 and what does the power play do? Answers the bell right back and all of a sudden we have ourselves back in the lead. Its what you want from your power play. Definitely happy with both and to win the special teams battle tonight,” Army said of his special teams.
Hausinger would complete “his first hat trick in seven or eight years” by picking up a blocked shot in the top of the slot and sent it flying over Bonar’s shoulder, glove side to extend the Nailer lead to 3-1. Jared Cockrell would add an empty-net goal with an assist from Guindon to round out the scoring at 19:50 of the third.
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