The Toledo Walleye started a weekend where they would be celebrating the former Toledo hockey team, the Toledo Storm, and the recent Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame inductees. The 2024 Hall of Fame class consists of goaltender Jeff Lerg, former Head Coach Claude Noel, and forwards Barney O’Connell, Iain Duncan, and Alex Hicks. They would play the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday and the Cincinnati Cyclones on Sunday.
Toledo Walleye vs Kalamazoo Wings 1/27
Toledo would have a starting lineup of goaltender Jan Bednar, defenseman Matt Anderson, and Michael Prapavessis on defense, and upfront are forwards Brandon Hawkins, Trenton Bliss, and Alexandre Doucet.
The Walleye would begin the first period by killing off a Hawkins penalty at 7:02 of the first but would kill it off. Not much action in the opening frame as the goaltenders were solid at both ends in a scoreless tie as the Walleye held a 16-5 shots on goal advantage.
Toledo opened the scoring just 1:17 into the second period as forward Chase Gresock scored his 10th goal of the season with assists to Brandon Kruse and Sam Craggs. Toledo would then get their first power play as Kalamazoo’s Erik Bradford was whistled for hooking at 4:27, but the Walleye could not find the back of the net. Kalamazoo would tie the game at one on Joshua Passolt’s goal at 7:01 on assists from Chad Nychuk and David Keefer. The two teams then would play four-on-four with no goals scored.
The Wings took a 2-1 lead when Keefer redirected a shot by defenseman Derek Daschke, and Bradford would record the other assists on the play. Kalamazoo would extend the lead to 3-1 on a goal by Nychuk, with assists going to Passolt and Bradford. The Walleye outshot the Wings 12-10 but found themselves down 3-1 after 20 minutes. After the second period ended, there was a scuffle between Walleye defenseman Riley McCourt and Kalamazoo forward Chaz Reddekopp. These actions would result in each player getting two 10-minute misconducts, which ended their night.
The Wings would make it 4-1 at the 6:32 mark on a goal by Prassolt, his second of the night, with Bradford and Jordan Seyfert assisting. Wings forward Luke Morgan then scored an unassisted goal to make it 5-1, completing the scoring for the game. The Wings outshot Toledo 11-9 in the period, but The Walleye would outshoot Kalamazoo 37-26, and both teams would go 0/2 on the man advantage.
Toledo Walleye vs. Cincinnati Cyclones 1/28
The Walleye welcomed the Cincinnati Cyclones for the Sunday evening game and final game of the Toledo Storm weekend. Toledo looked to get back on track after going 3-5-2 in their last ten games.
The starters for Toledo are goaltender John Lethemon, Defensemen are Matt Anderson and Michael Prapavessis and the forwards are Sam Craggs, Trenton Bliss, and Brandon Kruse. Talyn Boykin would start between the pipes for the Cyclones.
Toledo opened the scoring on a nice passing play by Mitchell Lewandoski and Alexandre Doucet to allow Riley Sawchuk to score his 12th goal of the season just 42 seconds into the game. The Walleye would strike again quickly as defenseman Riley McCourt would score his second goal of the season on a wrist shot from the high slot with assists to Orrin Centazzo and Bliss, bringing the score to 2-0 just 1:28 into the first period. Walleye defenseman Adrien Beraldo would get called for the game’s first penalty, a tripping call, at 7:43, which Toledo easily killed off. The period would end with the Walleye having a 2-0 lead, as well as an 8-6 shot advantage.
The second period began, and Toledo would once again score early as Brandon Hawkins would get on the scoreboard, putting one past Boykin on assists from Centazzo and Bliss at 4:36. 13 seconds later, the Walleye would strike again as Conlan Keenan took advantage of a Cincinnati turnover and put one in the net as Kruse and Craggs grabbed the assists and the Walleye would now be up 4-0 in the blink of an eye. Cyclones forward Sahil Panwar would be called for cross-checking at 8:40, giving the Walleye their first power play of the game. Hawkins would put Toledo up 5-0 as he slipped one past the Cyclone netminder on the man-advantage, McCourt and Centazzo getting the helpers. They would grab another goal to make it 6-0 as Chase Gresock would score in front of the net at 16:47 with assists going to McCourt and Carson Denomie. The middle period would close with the Walleye holding a 18-6 shot advantage in the period and 26-12 overall.
Onto the third period Cincinnati faced an incredible task to get back in this one. However, Toledo would strike early again as Lewandowski scored an unassisted, shorthanded goal, his 10th, at 1:31. The Cyclones would end the shutout for Lethemon as Cyclones forward Brandon Puricelli would score his sixth goal of the season on assists from NicIsaacsonon and Josh Burnside, but this would be scoring for the Cyclones in the game. The Walleye would score the last two goals of the game as Keenan scored his second goal of the night with assists for Prapavessis and Kruse. Keenan would complete the hat trick on the night as he scored his 17th goal of the season with assists to Kruse and Gresock. Toledo would be outshot by Cincinnati 9-8 in the period, but Toledo held the advantage in overall shots in the game, 34-21. Lethamon would stop 20-of-21 shots to get the win.
What a weekend for the Walleye organization to bring back some memorable Toledo Storm memories. The players, the stories, and the jerseys brought back memories of past times and those who watched the Storm play on the other side of downtown Toledo. The Toledo Walleye are back on the ice on Friday, February 2nd, 2024, as they take on the Norfolk Admirals.