Nailers Score 2-1 Win In Game 3 WednesdayMay 18, 2016
For the second straight game, the Wheeling Nailers (10-6) won when trailing after the second period, topping the South Carolina Stingrays (9-6), 2-1 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. On Wednesday, Wheeling erased a 1-0 deficit with two goals in the third period, including the winning tally from Derek Army at 13:34. The Nailers now lead the series, 2-1, with Game 4 Friday night in Wheeling at the WesBanco Arena.
South Carolina scored first, finally breaking a scoreless tie at 13:10 of the second period. Forward Austin Fyten scored his seventh goal of the postseason to extend his point-streak to seven games. With the puck in the offensive zone, Caleb Herbert found himself open behind the net. He collected a loose puck and flipped a backhand pass to the front of the goal. Fyten, standing at the top of the crease, flipped a shot over the glove of Wheeling goaltender Franky Palazzese. David Pacan also assisted on the goal, improving his point-streak to six games.
South Carolina would enter the third period leading 1-0, but Wheeling would quickly score to tie the game. Jarrett Burton, the double-overtime hero in Game 2, scored on a tic-tac-toe passing play at 6:36 to tie the game, 1-1. Riley Brace moved the puck to Derek Army. He centered a pass to Burton, who redirected the puck past a sprawled South Carolina netminder Vitek Vanecek and over the goal line for his third goal of the playoffs.
Just when the game looked like it might head to overtime for the second straight contest, Wheeling struck. Derek Army fired a shot from the top of the left face-off circle. Vanecek, attempting to trap the puck while standing, saw it somehow elude him, and roll between his arm and body into the net. Army's third goal of the playoffs gave Wheeling a late 2-1 lead that South Carolina could not overcome.
The Nailers outshot the Stingrays 31-19 in the game. Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play.