Quick start lifts Elmira to 5-0 win over Nailers

ELMIRA, N.Y. – On Sunday afternoon, the Wheeling Nailers traveled to Elmira for the seventh of 10 meetings this season with the Jackals. Unfortunately, this particular meeting didn’t go so well for the visitors, as Jordan Pietrus’ two goals paced a five-goal attack for Elmira, giving the Jackals a 5-0 victory at First Arena, the second shutout in as many days for Wheeling.

The Jackals opened the scoring at the 4:04 mark of the first period. Andrew Rowe skated into the bottom of the left circle, off of a feed from Louie Caporusso, and rang a shot off of the crossbar.

The rebound of that shot dropped into the crease, where it was eventually batted home by Jean Bourbeau. Elmira outshot Wheeling 14-7 in the opening frame, taking its 1-0 lead into the dressing room.

Early in the second period, the home team added to its lead, courtesy of a shorthanded goal.

Pietrus grabbed a loose puck in the right circle of his own zone and raced the other way on a 3-on-1 rush. Once he reached the right side of the slot, the forward let a wrist shot go, finding the back of the net.

Later Pietrus tacked on his second goal of the period, when Kevin Harvey found him for a one-timer at the bottom of the left circle. Steven Kaunisto also picked up an assist, as the Jackals led 3-0 after two periods of play.

Elmira put two more goals on the board in the third period, to lock up its victory. At the 7:43 mark of the stanza, Matt Carter centered the puck to Rowe, who faked to his backhand, before lifting a shot into the top part of the goal. Finally, with 2:26 remaining, Rob Bellamy slipped past the defense and snuck a shot through Scott Darling’s legs, making the score 5-0 Jackals.

Marc Cheverie snagged the shutout for Elmira, stopping all 25 shots he faced in a victory.

Darling was busy for the Nailers, making 39 saves on 44 shots in the setback.

The Nailers will head to the South Division for three games, beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday against the Greenville Road Warriors.