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Jackals Unable to Win Seventh Straight Season Opener

Elmira put up a late surge, but were undone by an 0-for-7 effort on the power play on Friday night.
WHEELING, W. Va. - The Elmira Jackals put up a late surge, but were undone by an 0-for-7 effort on the power play on Friday night. They fell 3-2 to the Wheeling Nailers at WesBanco Arena to open the 2013-14 season.

 

Click here for tonight's box score.

Each team had its special teams units tested often in the first period. The Jackals and Nailers were each afforded two power play chances and, while neither cashed in, Wheeling used the momentum from its first chance to grab an early lead. After killing off a too many men on the ice minor the Jackals were looking to spring Matt Carter on an odd man rush as he exited the box. Chris Minella picked off the pass, though, and his turning wrist shot beat Maxime Clermont to the stick side. The goal came on Wheeling's first shot of the game. The Jackals outshot the Nailers 8-4 over the remainder of the period but could not beat rookie goalie Mike Condon to tie the score.

The second period felt eerily similar to the first period as the Jackals continued to generate quality scoring chances that were turned away by Condon. In total 12 shots arrived on net, but Condon made several tough saves to keep the Jackals off of the scoreboard. Wheeling received the only power plays in the stanza and were able to cash in their first. A Carter Rowney faceoff win gave the puck to Zach Torquato at the point and his slap shot beat Clermont through a screen. The Jackals' netminder turned in eight saves in the frame.

Elmira was given five power play opportunities in the third period, including just over 1:45 of a 5-on-3, but missed out on each and saw the Nailers' lead swell to three before the Jackals' offense got on track. Minella converted a 2-on-1 for his second goal of the night at 13:54. The Jackals dug in, though, and got a pretty goal from Matt Carter to pull back within two at 15:36. Carter took a feed at center from Jordon Southorn, beat a defender in open ice, and lobbed a shot over Condon's shoulder for his first of the season. Elmira captain Jean Bourbeau followed 2:45 later with his first, but that's as close as the Jackals would get.

Clermont shouldered the loss in stopping 15 shots. Condon turned away 40 in earning the win. Elmira ended the night 0-for-7 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.

Mark your calendars! The Jackals open their home schedule for their seventh season of ECHL hockey on Friday, October 25 against the Reading Royals at 7:05 p.m.
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