Walleye forward David Gilbert did all he could to make the Toledo coaching debut of Derek Booth a success today.
Gilbert, the team's leading scorer, tallied two goals against Wheeling. But the Nailers scored instant goals to start the first and second periods and went on to post a 6-2 win.
Booth was filling in for Walleye coach Dan Watson, who was at home for the birth of his second daughter. But before Booth could settle in, the Nailers scored 28 seconds into the game.
Wheeling's Cody Sylvester scored on a snap shot that beat Walleye goalie Hannu Toivonen (27 saves) over his shoulder. The Nailers scored on their first shot before many of 4,147 at the Huntington Center had settled into their seats.
Wheeling struck again in an instant as Carter Rowney scored 14 seconds into the second period. Rowney tipped in a shot from Peter Merth for 2-0 Wheeling lead.
The Nailers then went up 3-0 with a shorthanded goal as Sylvester notched his second goal of the game.
But Gilbert then scored two power play goals in a span of 8:23 to get the Walleye back in it.
Toledo got on the board with a power play goal when Gilbert scored his team-high 16th on the season on assists from Max Shalunov and Joe Gleason.
Toledo then pulled within a goal as Gilbert scored his 17th. Gilbert fought through two defensemen and beat Eric Hartzell (28 saves) through his legs to make it 3-2 with 1:39 left in the second period.
But Shane Baker then gave Wheeling a 4-2 lead 2:35 into the third period. Tyler Fernandez padded the lead with 9:13 left and Tom Kuhnacki added another with 5:43 left.
Toledo (18-38-4) has lost four in a row overall and 12 in a row at home.
Booth, a former Storm defenseman, played three seasons in Toledo. Booth has coached in the Southern Professional Hockey League, the United Hockey League, and International Hockey League. He was coach of the year in the SPHL in 2004-05. His last coaching stop was in Bloomington of the IHL in 2007-08.
Toledo wraps up a six-game homestand this weekend. The Walleye host Gwinnett on Saturday and Sunday.