The Elmira Jackals defeated the Wheeling Nailers 3-1 today in the final meeting of their regular-season series. For the first time, the Jackals have swept the season series at WesBanco Arena, winning all three meetings on Nailers' home ice this season. Matt Garbowsky, Kyle Stroh and Allan McPherson scored for the Jackals while C.J. Motte turned aside 29 shots to earn his 15th win of the season.
For the second straight game the Jackals jumped out to an early lead over the Nailers. Just 2:16 into the first period, Matt Garbowsky banged home a loose rebound for his fifth goal of the season. Garbowsky started the play with a relentless forecheck and was joined by Tyler Currier as the puck was worked up the wall to Mark Bennett. Bennett fired a shot towards the front that was blocked and deflected to Currier who's put-back was saved but popped out in front to Garbowsky for the early strike. The Nailers tied the contest at 10:50 of the first period with Matt Tabrum's fifth goal of the season coming off a quick release from the bottom of the circle.
The Jackals turned up the heat in the second period out-shooting and out-chancing the Nailers until Kyle Stroh was able to break through Franky Palazzese for the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner. Another strong shift of pressure deep in the Wheeling end resulted in a bouncing puck in the slot that found Stroh for his ninth goal of the campaign. Mike Seidel and Zach Cohen were credited with the assists on Stroh's go-ahead marker. The Jackals out-shot the Nailers 14-7 in the second period and took a 2-1 lead into the break.
The Nailers came out pressing in the third period but C.J. Motte was a stalwart in net today, turning aside everything thrown his direction. The dagger came at 17:44 as Allan McPherson raced down a puck down the left wing side and released a sharp strike short-side top shelf past Palazzese to give the Jackals an insurance goal and some breathing room. Cason Hohmann and Kevin Clare assisted McPherson's team-leading 18th goal of the season.
C.J. Motte turned aside 29 of 30 shots faced to earn his 15th win of the season. Franky Palazzese allowed three goals on 30 shots faced and was handed the loss.
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March 6: Elmira Jackals at Brampton Beast - 2:00 p.m. EST. Watch every Jackals road game on WETM-2 or tune into 1410 WELM AM for all the live action!
March 10: Elmira Jackals at Adirondack Thunder - 7:00 p.m. EST. Watch every Jackals road game on WETM-2 or tune into 1410 WELM AM for all the live action!