For the second game in a row, the Wheeling Nailers spotted the visitors a 2-0 lead early, and for the second game in a row they found a way to overcome it, this time in far less dramatic fashion than Wednesday’s 7-6 OT win over Toledo, as they put up five unanswered goals on the Quad City Mallards, a season high four of which came on the power play, to extend their season best win streak to five with a 5-2 victory.
“I thought we kinda weren’t ready to play,” Nailers coach Jeff Christian said. “They came out hard and kinda threw everything at us.
“That first goal kinda took the wind out of their sails and I could just kinda tell coming out for the second period … I’m like ‘boys this is it let’s go for it now’ and we pop a couple in and take over the game from there.
“Everybody played well. The power play looked good obviously, the difference … is that we’re getting guys in front and getting tips.”
Cody Wydo stayed red hot with a pair of redirect power play goals, giving him six tallies in his last four games after he had been in a bit of a slump and was at one point sat as a scratch and challenged by Christian to perform better.
“Wydo is on fire,” Christian said. “I don’t want to jinx him but he’s a second half guy, he’s really picking it up.
“When Cody Wydo is going, we’re going.”
After a bit of a rough start, Sean Maguire got dialed in between the pipes and picked up his eighth win of the campaign with a 25 save performance for Wheeling (22-14-3).
Quad City (21-18-2) got goals exactly 10 minutes apart in the first period to jump out to a 2-0 lead on the Nailers, as first Nolan Laporte banked a tough angle shot off of Maguire and in and then Kevin Gibson fired a shot that hit a Wheeling defender and eluded Maguire.
Wydo’s first with 3:33 to go in the opening period changed the momentum, as working on a power play he got his stick on a Kevin Schulze point drive to get it past QC starter CJ Motte (27 saves) to make it 2-1.
Rookie defenseman Ross McMullan found some room and skated into the offensive zone 1:02 into the second period, picking his spot glove side to even the score at 2-2, then about five and a half later on another power play Wydo found Nick Sorkin coming down the slot with a perfect drop pass and he fought off a high stick to give the Nailers a 3-2 lead and collect what became his fifth game winning goal of the season.
Darryl Lloyd, playing in his first game since opening night after suffering an injury, did just like he did back then and scored to stay a goal a game player and give Wheeling a third power play goal. Wydo tipped another Schulze shot home on another power play to make it 5-2, and that would be the final.
The Nailers have a big divisional match up with Brampton tonight.
“We play them well,” Sorkin said of the Beast. “We’re a good team, they’re a good team.
“It’s nice to have them in our building. It’s points that we need to have.”