WHEELING, W. Va. - The Elmira Jackals suffered a 4-2 setback to the Wheeling Nailers at WesBanco Arena on Saturday night in their final game before the Christmas break. The loss dropped Elmira's record to 12-13-3 on the season.
In the first period the Jackals did about everything right in the offensive end of the rink except for score against Wheeling starter Scott Darling. The best two chances came late in the period, first on a deflected shot by Rob Bellamy and then on a shot on the power play from Andrew Rowe. Bellamy's tip hit the crossbar, though, and Rowe's shot glanced off iron low to the glove side. Wheeling opened the scoring at 7:27 when Cam Fergus punched the rebound of a Philippe Lefebvre shot past Marc Cheverie. Aside from that goal the Jackals didn't give Wheeling much to work with in the offensive zone and limited the Nailers to six shots in the stanza, and sent eight Darling's way at the other end of the ice.
The second period saw Elmira assert itself in the offensive zone in a big way. The Jackals out-shot the Nailers 12-8 and picked up the tying goal from former Nailer Jordon Southorn. After taking a pass from Louie Caporusso in the high slot Southorn had his initial try blocked but got it right back. His second crack went high, glove side on Darling and into the back of the net. At the other end of the ice Cheverie turned in a handful of quality saves to make sure the Jackals didn't allow the Nailers to reclaim the lead.
In the third period the Nailers were able to wear down the Jackals to the tune of a 16-1 shot advantage, and collected three goals for their effort. Andrew Hotham picked up the first, on the power play 2:20 into the stanza. The Jackals answered back, though, with a power play goal from Artem Demkov. Working off of the rush, Dustin Gazley hit Demkov with a pass in the left wing circle and he uncorked a wicked one-timer that beat Darling to the blocker side. The goal extended Demkov's goal streak to a career-high five games. Wheeling answered back with a rebound goal from Lefebvre and and empty-netter from Chris Barton with 28 seconds to play to seal the victory.
Cheverie shouldered the loss while stopping 26 shots. The Jackals were 1-for-2 on the power play and the penalty kill on the game.
By: Ray Schmitt - Elmira Jackals