Spiro Goulakos scored and added an assist in his return to the Jackals while Justin Bernhardt recorded his eighth goal of the season and fourth point in the last three games but the Jackals fell to the Wheeling Nailers in overtime, 3-2.
As the Jackals returned home following a season-long six-game road stretch they welcomed back Allan McPherson and Spiro Goulakos from the Rochester Americans and Nick Tuzzolino who was assigned by the Binghamton Senators. Goulakos, playing in his first game for the Jackals since January 9th, made an early impact on the game's opening goal. Nick Tuzzolino moved the puck along the blueline to Goulakos who fed a slap pass into the low circle to Kyle Stroh for a quick deflection backdoor onto the waiting stick of Justin Bernhardt. Bernhardt extended his point streak to three games with his fourth point over that stretch.
In the second period, the Nailers capitalized on two quick strikes 1:08 apart to tie the game and take the lead. First, Riley Brace scored his 15th goal of the season on a fortuitous bounce from behind the net that banked off C.J. Motte's stick and slide between his legs. Then, at 5:32, Andrew Ammon raced down the left side and fired a short-side shot over the shoulder of Motte to give Wheeling a 2-1 heading into the third period.
The Jackals responded in the final frame of regulation with a flurry of shots controlling the play in the Nailers' end for nearly the entire period. Elmira fired 19 shots on goal in the final 20 minutes to the Nailers' four shots on target. At 4:33, the Jackals broke through with the tying goal as Spiro Goulakos blasted a slap shot top-shelf over the glove of Casey DeSmith for his sixth goal of the season. Despite a series of chances, DeSmith was able to escape the suffocating pressure by Elmira and sneak the Nailers into overtime.
The Jackals began the extra frame on the penalty kill following a late penalty in regulation against Justin Bernhardt for closing his hand on the puck. Just as the penalty was expiring Clark Seymour's shot bounced high into the air and was batted out of midair by Cody Wydo over C.J. Motte and in for the game-winning goal. Wydo's 14th of the year was a questionable high-stick, but to the home crowd's dismay, the goal stood and the Nailers skated off with a 3-2 overtime win.
C.J. Motte turned aside 25 of 28 shots faced but was handed the overtime loss. Casey DeSmith stopped 38 of 40 shots faced to earn the win.
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February 19: Elmira Jackals vs. Adirondack Thunder - 7:05 p.m. EST. Click here to purchase tickets or tune into 1410 WELM AM for all the live action!
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