ECHL Playoffs: Toledo Walleye Score 5 Power Play Goals, Blow past Cincinnati Cyclones in Game 1

Photo Credit: Toldeo Walleye

Cincinnati, OH– The Toledo Walleye had eight days off between their four-game sweep of the Indy Fuel and the first game of round 2 against the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Cyclones came in battle tested as the Fort Wayne Komets took them to seven games.

Would the Walleye be rusty, or would they be rested?

The question was answered just 15 seconds into the opening frame when Gordie Green took a pass from Brandon Hawkins near center ice, and he skated past two defenders and beat Beck Warm for a 1-0 lead before most fans got into their seats. “Those are the starts you like to have, and we have to continue to build on that.” Assistant Coach Alden Hirschfeld said at the first intermission.

Toldeo dominated most of the period but allowed Cincinnati to tie the game up with just under eight minutes left. Adam Berg deflected a wrist shot from Patrick Polino. This was Berg’s first goal of the playoffs as it beat Walleye goalie Sebastian Cossa.

Toledo was able to answer back while on the power play, which has been deadly during the playoffs so far. Just 24 seconds into the power play, Trenton Bliss notched his fourth playoff goal. Bliss took a pass from Kirill Tyutyayev right in front of the net, and he faked a forehand shot, then went to the backhand to push the puck past Warm. The 1st period would end with Toledo leading 2-1 while outshooting the Cyclones 14-5.

The 2nd period got off to a slow start as halfway through the period; it seemed there were more times that the net came off the moorings than shots on goals. As someone who hasn’t witnessed many home games for the Cyclones, this seemed to be an ongoing issue for the nets at Heritage Bank Center. The fans became increasingly upset each time the game was delayed while the nets were worked on. Andrew Sturtz was sent off for slashing with 24 seconds left in the 2nd period, and the rest of the penalty will carry over to the 3rd. Toledo outshot the Cyclones in the period by a total of 11 to 5.

Toledo was able to kill the rest of the penalty coming back from the intermission. Cossa had to make a series of good saves after the penalty expired, as Cincinnati was still attacking. Cincinnati was much more aggressive in the period, eventually leading to a game-tying goal for the Cyclones. The goal would come at 4:48 of the 3rd. The goal was deflected in by Thomas Ebbing in front of his own net. The score will officially go to Andrew Nielsen, his first of the playoffs.

Things would go from good to bad quickly for Cincinnati as Sean Allen committed a boarding penalty that resulted in a 5-minute major and a game misconduct. Toledo took advantage right away, with Brandon Hawkins scoring 40 seconds later. With the misconduct, the power play continued for Toledo, and Gordie Green would get his second of the night at 8:42 of the 3rd period. Cincinnati committed another penalty, this time a tripping to send Toldeo to the five-on-three advantage. The Walleye took advantage of this gift and scored their fourth power-play goal of the night. This one at 9:30 of the 3rd period from Tyutyayev. The hits kept coming for the Cyclones when Toledo punched in their 5th power-play goal of the night from Trent Bliss at 10:11 of the period. Once the five-minute major was all said and done, the score went from a tie game to a 6-2 lead for Toledo, which would be how this one would end.

Cincinnati was woefully outshot for the game as Toldeo won that battle 37-17. Toldeo would finish 5 of 8 on the power play, while the Cyclones went 0 for 1. Cossa was solid in net, stopping 15 of the 17 shots. Warm didn’t fare as well, stopping 31 of 37. Game 2 will be played Saturday night at 7:35 pm.

Phil Wilds

Atlanta Gladiators writer for Inside The Rink. Patiently waiting for the 3rd Atlanta NHL team! Follow me on Twitter @PWilds121 for awful takes that you will most certainly disagree with!

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