ECHL: Toledo Walleye Capture Sixth Division Title in Franchise History

Toledo Walleye Celebrate a goal
Photo: Hector Urica | Inside The Rink

The Toledo Walleye defeated the Indy Fuel 3-2 on March 27, 2024, to capture the sixth division title in franchise history. Goaltender John Lethemon turned in a great performance, and forward Trenton Bliss scored the game-winner in the third period on the power play at 14:08 with assists to Brandon Hawkins and Riley McCourt.

Walleye grab Central Division title with complete team effort

The Walleye have battled all season to become one of the elite teams in the league behind the mentorship of Head Coach Pat Mikesch. Toledo has been dominant with a deep roster and few roster changes. With Brandon Hawkins, Trenton Bliss, Riley McCourt, and John Lethemon staying in Toledo most of the season, this enabled chemistry to build and the team to grow stronger through a strong team effort every night.

This is the sixth division title the Walleye have in their franchise history, winning the division in the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2021-22 seasons. Their record now stands at 41-14-4-5 for 91 points, nine points behind the Kansas City Mavericks, who have the top spot in the Western Conference.

Although Hawkins continues to lead the team offensively, the team has played all season as a unit, with the forwards, defense, and goaltenders all playing their part to contribute to the team’s success. The players deserve credit for winning the Central Division title, and so does the coaching staff. Pat Mikesch has come in and done an excellent job in getting this team to focus on the task at hand and play as one every night.

The Walleye have played well over their last ten games, posting an 8-2 record, and have seven wins in a row. They are getting hot at the right time and are looking forward to a lengthy playoff run.

Clinching the division and occupying a playoff spot means that Toledo could rest some important pieces, giving some newly acquired players some valuable playing time. Playoff time is another beast and players could use some important rest before that time begins. Mikesch may look to do just that, let players heal up and get rest before the quest for the Kelly Cup begins.

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