ECHL Playoffs Recap: Toledo Walleye vs. Kalamazoo Wings Game 4 l 04/26/2024

The Kalamazoo Wings played against the Toledo Walleye on Friday night at the Wings Event Center. It was a must-win game for the Wings as they were down 3-0 in the series. Throughout the series, Kalamazoo had faced 139 shots from Toledo’s high-powered offense and had no other option but to lock-down defensively with their backs against the wall. Toledo started the first period in the same way they had been playing in the entire series, with total dominance of the offensive and defensive zones. In the middle of the first period, Riley McCourt sniped a shot past Hunter Vorva of Kalamazoo to give Toledo a 1-0 lead. The rest of the period was filled with tight-checking, and Kalamazoo finished with 11 shots, while Toledo had 7.

In the second period, only 18 seconds had passed when Trenton Bliss scored a wrist-shot goal to increase Toledo’s lead to 2-0 against Kalamazoo. Later on, Trenton Bliss did it again and scored another wrist-shot goal to give Toledo a 3-0 lead. After some time, Kalamazoo’s Chad Nychuk finally managed to score a goal past Bednar and reduced the deficit to 3-1. With exactly a minute left in the second period, Luke Morgan also found a way to score on Bednar and trimmed the deficit to 3-2 for Kalamazoo going into the third period. However, Toledo dominated the third period and spent most of the time in Kalamazoo’s offensive zone. Toledo scored again in the final stages of the third period with a goal from Brandon Kruse, extending their lead to 4-2 and ultimately winning the game 4-2.

The Toledo Walleye won 4-2 in the game, sweeping the Kalamazoo Wings in the Central Division Semifinal series in four straight games. They dominated in all aspects, especially in the number of shots fired at Kalamazoo’s goaltending. Despite Kalamazoo’s numerous victories over Toledo in the regular season, the Walleye got their revenge and beat them in the first round. Toledo will now face the winner of the first-round series between the Indy Fuel and Wheeling Nailers. Currently, the Nailers are leading 3-1 in the series. Toledo can use the week off before the second round to rest their players, who have already endured a long regular season.

Three Stars of the Game:
1) Trenton Bliss (2 Goals)
2) Brandon Kruse (1 Goal)
3) Riley McCourt (1 Goal)

Matthew Buhrmann

Writer at Inside the Rink l Covering Cincinnati Cyclones l Student @uofcincy l @Mbuhrmann61 on socials

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