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Wheeling Nailers


Third Time the Charm for Gauthier

Third Time the Charm for Gauthier

WHEELING, W.Va. – In the first four games of the season, the Wheeling Nailers hadn’t quite put a full game together. Sunday afternoon though, it all came together as the Nailers picked up their first win of the campaign and for Taylor Gauthier, his first career victory and shutout, 2-0 over the Iowa Heartlanders.

Early in the contest, Wheeling had a shooting gallery in the offensive zone getting eight shots in just under ten minutes of play. However, Iowa goalie Bailey Brkin only allowed a seeing eye shot from the point by Adam Smith to make its way through in the first.

In the second, the Nailers really poured it on in the offensive zone. And again, Brkin was up to the challenge, stopping all 16 Nailer shots in the frame. In the middle part of the stanza, while on a power play, Wheeling kept the puck in the offensive zone for the entire man advantage, firing five shots on net and getting the rebounds to keep the pressure on.

In the third, the home team was able to put the game away as Sean Josling picked up a loose puck in the slot and slip it around Brkin for the 2-0 final score. Josling’s insurance goal came at 17:10 of the third.

“It was a great win, it was a very complete game top to bottom, from everyone in the dressing room.” Nailer Head Coach Derek Army stated after the game. “….we knew that we had to dictate the pace and dictate everything and not let them hang around.”

For Gauthier, playing his third professional game, it was a milestone night as he stopped all 20 shots that Iowa threw at him. As the night went on, he grew more confident and relaxed in his crease as any rebounds to the high pressure areas were prevented from becoming scoring opportunities by the defense in front of him.

His coach said this of his performance tonight: “It was great to see. I think that’s typically a tough game for a goalie if you’re only getting minimal shots, but for him to stand tall, especially a couple of chances in the third, up 1-0. He made a couple [of] really big saves, so that was great to see. Really happy for him.”

Neither team was successful on the power play as Wheeling was 0-for-4 and Iowa was 0-for-5. Brkin stopped 37 of 39 Wheeling shots in a losing effort.

Wheeling (1-3-0) will return to action on Friday, November 4th in Reading. Faceoff at Santander Arena is scheduled for 7pm.

Iowa (0-5-0) will next be in action on Friday as well. The Heartlanders travel to Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis to battle the Fuel. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm.

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    John Hafer covers the Wheeling Nailers for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with him on Twitter @FPHNailers.

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