Robbins Nets Two as Heartlanders Hammer Nailers
WHEELING, WV – The Iowa Heartlanders earned their second straight road victory, crushing the Wheeling Nailers on Saturday, 7-2. The Heartlanders scored two goals in the first and third periods and added three in the second in tying the single game high for goals this season. Brendan Robbins led the way with two goals and Zach White and Bo Hanson each had three points. Hunter Jones was outstanding between the pipes, stopping 35 shots to earn his second straight victory.
Hanson got things started 2:50 into the contest. James Sanchez knocked the point back to the point to Hanson, he chipped the puck over the stick of a Wheeling player and toward the slot. Hanson raced to the puck, blasting a slap shot past Bailey Brkin to make it 1-0.
Just after the 14 minute mark, Iowa extended the lead to two when Robbins scored his first goal of the evening. Brkin tried to knock a loose puck to the corner, but Ted McGeen won the race for the puck, passing it in front to Robbins, who blasted a one-timer by the Nailers netminder to make it 2-0.
The Heartlanders poured it on in the second, adding three more goals. Carson Denomie extended the lead to three at 2:01. White had knocked down a shot inside his own zone, then gained control of the puck, leading a 2-on-1 toward the Wheeling end. As he approached Brkin, he passed the puck across the slot to Denomie, who buried a one-timer for his second goal of the year.
Like in the first, just after the 14 minute point of the second, the team extended their lead to four as Alec Broetzman netted his eighth goal of the year. It was another 2-on-1 that created the goal. Broetzman took a pass from Justin Wells and moved in on Brkin. It looked like he would pass the puck, but opted to fire a wrist shot, beating Brkin over the shoulder to make it 4-0.
Just 44 seconds later, the Nailers got on the board. Gianluca Esteves took a shot that Jones saved, but Samuel Tremblay was able to put in the rebound for his sixth goal of the year.
The Nailers were back within three, but Jordan Martin restored the four-goal edge with a little over three minutes left in the frame when he scored his first goal of the season. With the Heartlanders on the power—play, Tanner MacMaster intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, who moved the puck up the boards to Clayton Phillips just before he entered the Wheeling zone. Phillips fed the puck to Martin, who moved in toward the right faceoff circle, then lifted a wrist shot that went past the glove of Brkin for his team leading 12th goal of the year.
Iowa was in complete command of this game, but they were not done, adding two more goals in the final frame. The first came 9:17 into the period when Robbins netted his second tally of the evening. White made a great pass in the neutral zone, right onto the tape of Robbins as he entered the Wheeling end. That sent him in on a breakaway where he beat new Nailer netminder Brad Barone to make it 6-1.
Wheeling scored 59 seconds later when Félix Paré scored his first goal of the year, but Tommy Parrottino netted his 12th of the year at 15:45 to restore the five goal advantage. With the Heartlanders on a power-play, Phillips did a great job of holding the puck inside the Nailers end, then found Parrottino wide-open in front of the net. His initial shot was saved by Barone, but puck hit off Parrottino’s skate and went in to close out the scoring.
Jones was spectacular, stopping 35 shots. Hanson finished with a goal and two assists and White had three assists. Wells added two assists.
The Iowa Heartlanders (9-22-10) will travel to Fort Wayne to take on the Komets (20-14-6) on Sunday. The puck drops at 4:00 Iowa time.
By Robert Pannier