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Keenan, Albert score as Toledo falls to the Heartlanders

CORALVILLE, Iowa – The Toledo Walleye held a 2-0 lead heading into the final period against the Iowa Heartlanders Saturday night, but the Fish could not hold on as the Heartlanders scored three goals to earn the 3-2 victory in Coralville.

Conlan Keenan and John Albert each scored for the Fish, and the Walleye outshot Iowa, 38-19, over the course of the contest. However, Iowa’s three goals on six shots in the final frame were enough to lift the Heartlanders to their second straight victory. Toledo falls to 13-6-0-1 with the loss, dropping two of three contests to Iowa this week.

The Walleye skated out to an early lead thanks to Conlan Keenan’s goal 25 seconds after puck drop. Keenan lifted the puck over Trevin Kozlowski’s shoulder to hit the top of the net for his fourth goal of the year, with Steve Oleksy earning the assist.

Meanwhile, Kaden Fulcher held the Heartlanders scoreless on 11 shots in the opening period. He faced one Iowa power play on a Marcus Vela tripping penalty with 14:21 gone. The Walleye came back to full strength unscathed after two minutes on the penalty kill. Toledo took nine shots in the frame, leading, 1-0, after the first 20 minutes.

Toledo built a 17-shot advantage in the second period, holding the Heartlanders to just two shots in the frame. Meanwhile, the Fish built on their lead with John Albert’s 11th goal of the season at the 12:53 mark. TJ Hensick assisted Albert on the goal, giving the Walleye the 2-0 advantage.

The Fish had three opportunities to score with a man advantage in the first nine minutes of the second period, but Iowa stopped Toledo from doing any damage to earn all three penalty kills.  Toledo did not serve any penalty minutes in the frame, and the second period ended with the visitors up, 2-0.

Toledo’s fortune quickly changed as the Heartlanders went on a scoring surge in the final period. Just 50 seconds into the third period, Yuki Miura netted a goal off a Walleye turnover to cut into Toledo’s lead. Then, with 4:05 gone, Cole Golka tied the contest at two goals each. 

Tempers began to flare, boiling over with a fight between Steve Oleksy and Adrien Beraldo at the 5:47 mark. Both players picked up fighting majors, and Oleksy also received an instigating minor. Brandon Schultz served the extra penalty, giving Iowa their second power play opportunity of the game. Yuki Miura netted his second goal of the game 20 seconds into the power play to give the Heartlanders the 3-2 lead.

The Walleye looked to empty the net and bring on an extra skater late in the contest, but Brett Boeing was called for slashing with 1:10 remaining to put Iowa on the power play. The Fish could not regain control of the puck until the final seconds, and the Heartlanders went on to win the contest, 3-2.

Toledo doubled Iowa’s shots on goal with 38 to the Heartlanders’ 19. Iowa converted on one of their three power play opportunities on the game-winner, while Toledo was unsuccessful on all four tries.

Trevin Kozlowski picked up his second straight win in net for Iowa, saving 36-of-38 shots for the Heartlanders. Kaden Fulcher recorded the loss for Toledo, saving 16 shots while giving up three goals.

What’s Next:

The Walleye continue their six-game road trip on Friday, Dec. 17, when they visit the South Carolina Stingrays for the only time this season. Puck drop from the North Charleston Coliseum is set for 7:05 p.m.

Three Stars:

  1. Iowa – Yuki Miura (power play goal, equal strength goal)
  2. Iowa – Trevin Kozlowski (W, 36 saves)
  3. Iowa – Cole Golka (game-tying goal)