Walleye Outlast Cyclones in Thriller

Credit: Toledo Walleye

The Toledo Walleye held their annual Teddy Bear Toss on Friday night in their game against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Fans were encouraged to bring a new stuffed animal, or teddy bear, to toss onto the ice after the Walleye scored their first goal. This event benefits local charities and organizations surrounding the Toledo area.

Jan Bednar was defending the home net for Toledo, and Talyn Boyko was in goal for Cincinnati.

The Finatics did not have to wait long to toss their teddy bears and stuffed animals onto the ice as Conlan Keenan quickly scored at 1:11 into the First Period. Sam Craggs and Kirill Tyutyayev helped send the teddy bears flying with assists on the goal. Toledo had a quick seven-minute clean-up after the toss with help from the Walleye players, ice crew, Spike, and Cattrick. Late in the period, the Cyclones would tie up the game with a goal off the back of Bednar by Zack Andrusiak at 18:13. Justin Vaive and Louie Caporusso were credited with the assists. Toledo would end the period on a power play when Cincinnati’s Luka Burzan went to the penalty box for roughing.

Cincinnati would successfully fight off the power play to start the Second Period. Quickly after, Burzan got the puck by Bednar at 1:55 to put the Cyclones up 2-1. Patrick Polino and Lee Lapid had the assists on the score. Cincinnati had their first power play of the game when Adrien Beraldo went to the Walleye’s penalty box for hooking. The Cyclones’ Polino converted on the power play at 6:58 to put Cincinnati up 3-1. Vaive and Andrusiak were credited with the assists. Polino, Vaive, and Andrusiak collected their second point of the night on the goal. Cincinnati’s Josh Burnside was sent to the penalty box at 8:11 for high-sticking, and the Walleye had another chance at a power play. The Cyclones, again, killed off the power play. Toledo’s Keenan found the back of the net for a second time at 11:33 to put the Walleye within one. His goal was assisted by Riley McCourt and Craggs.

At 12:42, Toledo’s Will Cullen and Cincinnati’s Caporusso would find themselves in a brawl that would lead to five-minute majors for fighting. The Cyclones’ penalty box added another player at 13:22 when Ole Julian Bjorgvik-Holm went for hooking. At 5:11, Toledo’s Brandon Hawkins would convert on the power play to tie the game 3-3. His goal was assisted by Antti Tuomisto and Craggs.

After making 25 saves, Cincinnati’s Boyko left the game and was replaced by Julian Sime.

The Third Period was a series of power plays being traded back and forth between Toledo and Cincinnati. At 2:09, The Cyclones quickly found themselves with a man advantage as Toledo’s McCourt went to the box for closing his hand on the puck. At 2:46, Cincinnati was back on top when Vaive found the back of the net. Vaive and Poline each earned their third point with this goal.

After the goal, Smereck went to the Cincinnati penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Toledo received a delay of game, served by Carson Denomie. At 2:51, Toledo’s Cullen was also assessed an interference minor. This penalty gave Cincinnati the upper hand with four-on-three for one minute and 55 seconds. The Walleye were able to go to work and kill off the penalties.

The tables turned when the Walleye found themselves with a man advantage when Cincinnati’s Andrusiak went to the box for roughing at 6:39. It only took Toledo’s Hawkins 21 seconds to get the puck by Sime for his 250th professional point. The game-tying goal was assisted by Orrin Centazzo and Trenton Bliss.

Yet again, the Cyclones were on a power play at 8:06 when Beraldo went to the box for slashing. The Walleye successfully killed off the power play. Another powerplay chance came for Toledo at 12:31 when Sahil Panwar went to the box for hooking. This time, Toledo’s Brandon Kruse was able to convert to put the Walleye on top 5-4. Centazzo and Bliss were credited with the assists.

Cincinnati pulled Sime from the net to have a man advantage heading into the last two minutes. At 18:58, Tuomisto scored an empty-netter, assisted by Bednar, to seal the victory.

In Toledo fashion, the ‘Comeback Kids’ came from behind to beat the Cyclones 6-4. The Walleye will be back in action tonight in Cincinnati at the Heritage Bank Center against the Cyclones. The puck drops at 7:35 p.m.

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