Michael Neal, younger brother of Pittsburgh Penguins winger James Neal, lit up the Wheeling Nailers for two goals and three assists Thursday night for the Orlando Solar Bears in a 7-2 win.
An assist from Neal led to the opening goal, and he added his own at 7:46 of the first period for a 2-0 Orlando lead. The Solar Bears added another to take a 3-0 lead just 8:25 into the game before Wheeling could generate any type of offense.
Zach Hansen broke through for Wheeling on the power play at 9:15 to cut the deficit to 3-1. He added his second of the game and fourth of the season (again on the power play) just 49 seconds before the end of the period to end a wild opening frame, trailing just 3-2.
That was as close as the Nailers would get the rest of the way, though, as Neal continued to impress.
Ryan Blair scored 4:28 into the second period for Orlando, thanks in part to an assist from Neal. Neal came right back, took a Blair pass and lifted a backhander up and over Wheeling goaltender Peter Delmas for a 5-2 advantage at 9:10 of the second.
Dale Mahovsky put Orlando ahead 6-2 after two periods. Again, Neal was credited with the assist.
Scott Tanski finished the scoring for Orlando in the third period for a 7-2 win.
Delmas was relieved of his goaltending duties midway through the second period after allowing six goals on 21 shots. Scott Darling settled things down and stopped 14 of Orlando’s final 15 shots.
Former Nailer John Curry earned the win for Orlando. He stopped 36 of Wheeling’s 38 shots.
Chris | Penguins Report