ECHL: Game Recap: Toledo Walleye vs. Cincinnati Cyclones | 12/30/2023

Credit: TOLEDO BLADE/KURT STEISS

The Toledo Walleye hosted the Cincinnati Cyclones at the Huntington Center on Saturday evening. The Walleye were able to send the Cyclones spinning back to Cincinnati with a 4-2 victory.

John Lethemon returned to the Walleye from Grand Rapids and was between the pipes for Toledo. For Cincinnati, Olof Windbom would defend the net.

Cincinnati started Period One on a power play as Toledo’s Darian Pilon went to the penalty box for high-sticking. Instead of the Cyclones capitalizing on the power play, Toledo’s Sam Craggs netted a short-handed goal at 2:12. This goal was Craggs’ third short-handed goal and 17th goal overall this season. Mitchell Lewandowski and Riley McCourt had the assists. Toledo killed off the remainder of the power play.

Toledo’s Pilon was sent to the penalty box again for slashing at 8:23. Despite the man advantage, Cincinnati was unable to capitalize, and Toledo killed off another power play. The Cyclones’ Zack Andrusiak found the back of the net at 12:20 to tie the game. Cole Fraser had the solo assist. Toledo and Cincinnati would finish Period One with one goal a piece.

Just like Period One, Period Two opened with Cincinnati on the power play when Toledo’s Brandon Kruse was sent to the penalty box 47 seconds into the period for tripping. Toledo effectively killed off the power play. Cincinnati would take the lead at 8:05 after Lee Lapid snuck the puck by Lethemon. Steven MacLean and Lincoln Griffin had the assists.

Toledo got their first power play at 11:08 when Cincinnati’s Vaive went to the penalty box for holding. However, Toledo was unable to capitalize on the man advantage. Period Two would wrap up with four-on-four hockey as Toledo’s McCourt went to the box for tripping, and Cincinnati’s Alex Wideman went to the box for hooking. Heading to the locker room after Period Two, Cincinnati was up 2-1.

Period Three began with both carried-over penalties being killed off. Toledo got another power play chance at 5:04 when Andrusiak went to the penalty box for cross-checking. This time, Toledo’s Kruse converted at 5:42 to tie the game 2-2. Brandon Hawkins and Lethemon had the assists.

This was the eighth consecutive game that Hawkins had an assist. This marks the longest streak by a Walleye player this season, as well as Hawkins’ second nine-game point streak this season.

Toledo regained the lead after Adrien Beraldo scored an unassisted goal at 13:20. This goal marked Beraldo’s first score as a Toledo Walleye. Orrin Centazzo would seal the deal with an empty net goal at 18:49 to put the Fish up by two. Hawkins and Jake Williets had the assists. The final horn sounded with the Walleye taking the come-from-behind win, 4-2. Lethemon had 23 saves for the Walleye, and Windbom had 36 saves for the Cyclones.

The Fish will be ringing in the new year against the Fort Wayne Komets tonight at the Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

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