ECHL: Toledo Walleye Take Two Out Of Three Against Fort Wayne

Credit: Toledo Walleye

The Toledo Walleye traveled to Fort Wayne to face the Komets on Friday, November 10. The Walleye were able to secure the win with goals by Brandon Hawkins, Orrin Centazzo, Mitchell Lewandowski, and Conlan Keenan. Sam Craggs led Toledo with two goals. The final score was 6-4, Toledo. In net for Toledo was John Lethemon, and for Fort Wayne, Tyler Parks. Toledo returned to the Huntington Center for a homestand on Saturday and Sunday against the Komets.

On Saturday, Toledo celebrated all veterans in attendance with their annual Military Appreciation Night. In net for Toledo was Jan Bednar, and for Fort Wayne, Francois Brassard. In front of the home crowd, the Walleye hoped to start the period with force, but they quickly found themselves behind 4-1 at the end of Period 1. Komets had a quick goal by Matt Wedman (1:04), assisted by Nolan Volcan. A few minutes later, Shawn Szydlowski (7:21) got the puck by Jan Bednar. Will Cullen was finally able to get one on the board for Toledo at the 16:02 mark. The excitement was short-lived; 12 seconds later, the Komets scored back-to-back goals. Goals were scored by Volcan (16:14) and Jack Dugan (16:53).

The Bank Tank started to come back to life after Craggs scored two short-handed goals to put the Walleye within one to end the second. During the intermission, Toledo’s own Cowboy Evan, an integral part of the ice crew, made his seasonal debut with his on-ice dance to Cotton Eyed Joe. After his performance, the momentum completely shifted from the Komets to the Walleye.

The Walleye fed off of 8,087 Finatics chanting, “Let’s Go Fish!” and went to work to find the back of the net four more times to seal their come-from-behind victory. Toledo’s comeback was powered by Chase Gresock (assisted by Theisen and Brandon Kruse), two goals from Hawkins (assisted by Kruse, Adrien Beraldo, and Bednar), and Keenan (assisted by Gabriele and Lewandowski). The Komets were unable to score during the third period despite being on a power play for the majority of the period. The Walleye displayed their scoring skills as well as their tenacity for penalty kills. Toledo came away with the win, 7-4.

On Sunday, the Walleye held Non-Profit Night and wore special jerseys with the skyline of the city of Toledo to commemorate the event. In net for the Walleye was Lethemon, and for the Komets, Parks. The Walleye capitalized on a power play with a goal by Centazzo at the time of 10:57 to put Toledo up 1-0. Late in the first, the Komets scored back-to-back goals to put themselves up 2–1 heading into the second period. Goals were scored by Dugan (18:14) and Adams-Moisan (19:10).

In the second, the Komets’ Dugan scored his second goal of the night (11:19). His goal was assisted by Ture Linden. Toledo’s Keenan quickly answered back with a goal at 13:10, assisted by McCourt and Craggs. Just like the previous night, the celebration was short-lived. Fort Wayne’s Volcan (15:50) got the puck by Lethemon to put the Komets up 4-2.

The Walleye kept the penalty box full during the final frame. Jake Willets was called for roughing and received a 10-minute game misconduct. Keenan and Bliss were called for slashing. McCourt was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, and he also received a 10-minute game misconduct. Much like last night, the Komets spent the majority of the period on a power play. The Komets were able to capitalize with two more goals by Wedman (5:18) and Jake Chiasson (9:56). The Walleye made a valiant effort to come back despite being short-handed. Centazzo (5:33), Keenan (5:55), and McCourt (11:39) got the puck by Parks to bring the Walleye within one. The Walleye were unable to overcome the goal deficit and fell to the Komets, 6-5.

The Walleye will be back at the Huntington Center on Wednesday, November 15, against the Wheeling Nailers. The puck drops at 10:35 a.m. for their first School Education Day of the season.

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