ECHL: Toledo Walleye Historic Season Continues With League Records

Drake Hartlett/InsideTheRink

The Toledo Walleye of the ECHL has been successful since game one in 2009. The countless call-ups that have led to success in the higher leagues, the personal achievements, and the number of players who made a difference during their stop in Toledo. As far as the team itself, the season has been a total team effort on and off the ice. The players and coaching staff have dominated on the ice and the bench, while management and the fan base have done the same thing off the ice.

Walleye Achieving Success On and Off the Ice

With their win in Game 1 of the Central Division final against the Wheeling Nailers, Toledo extended their historic run of consecutive wins with their 19th straight and have since added to that with their win in Game 2 against Wheeling on Saturday night to reach 20 straight wins. The 19 consecutive wins broke the previous record, then held by the Las Vegas Wranglers during the 2007 season, with their wins including the regular season and playoffs.

The streak includes winning the final 14 games of the regular season, followed by a sweep of the Kalamazoo Wings in the Central Division first round of the Kelly Cup playoffs. The Walleye are close to breaking the record of consecutive wins, held by the South Carolina Stingrays during the 2015 season at 23 straight wins. This is nothing new to Toledo, who held the now second-largest regular season winning streak at 18 games during the 2023 season.

Walleye forward Brandon Kruse was one of seven players to record a hat trick this season. ECHL MVP Brandon Hawkins, Trenton Bliss, Orrin Centazzo, Sam Craggs, Conlan Keenan, and Riley Sawchuk all let the hats fly during the 2023-24 season.

The Walleye’s winning streak started on March 15, 2024, when they defeated the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in a 4-3 overtime win. Toledo forward Sawchuk led the offense with two assists, and goaltender John Lethemon stopped 33 of 36 shots in the win. Keenan scored the game-winning goal.

While the on-ice product is successful in stringing wins together, The fans should to be applauded this season as the Walleye has records off the ice. Toledo fans set the Walleye single-season attendance record of 284,621 fans in attendance this season, beating the previous record held in the 2018-19 season with 280,170. The Walleye organization had two more attendance records this season. The first was 27 consecutive sellouts at the Huntington Center, and the other was 34 sellouts during the 2023-24 regular season.

While the Walleye are in a fight against Wheeling on the ice, the organization is in a good place off the ice with the continued support of the Toledo faithful. The fans have continued to support the Walleye, which debuted in the 2009-10 season. Year after year, the Walleye have increased their level of play and continued to fight on the ice for the beloved fan base. Another playoff appearance, sellout records, and a lengthy winning streak keep the league aware of what Toledo has accomplished this season. One thing left to accomplish, and it could be a championship for the players, fans, and the organization.

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