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Walleye fall to Cyclones in Game 3 overtime heartbreaker

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye fell to the Cincinnati Cyclones, 6-5, in overtime Monday night in a high-scoring Game 3 matchup at Heritage Bank Center in Cincinnati.

Matt Berry found the back of the net twice to lead the Walleye, but the Cyclones came away with the win after a goal 9:40 into overtime. The Walleye trail the Cyclones, 2-1, in the Central Division Semifinals following the first road game of the series.

The Cyclones took the early lead just 1:45 after puck drop on a goal from Graeme Brown. Luc Brown and Lincoln Griffin assisted on the goal as the Cyclones took the 1-0 lead. 

Toledo and Cincinnati combined for seven penalties in the period, resulting in a two power plays for the Walleye and three for Cincinnati. The Walleye’s first opportunity with the man advantage resulted in a Matt Berry goal as TJ Hensick and Randy Gazzola assisted. The goal came at the 10:37 mark in the opening frame.

Mitchell Heard won the draw at 12:22, and Cam Clarke immediately scored to give the Fish the 2-1 lead. Heard collected the lone assist on the equal strength goal as the Walleye pulled ahead for the first time. The Walleye took 12 shots to Cincinnati’s nine to close the frame with the one-goal lead.

The Walleye held the 2-1 scoring advantage in period one, and Cincinnati countered with a 2-1 frame of their own to tie the contest at three following two periods of play. The Cyclones tied the game at two with 5:09 gone in the second period as Zack Andrusiak found the back of the net for the second time in the series. Dajon Mingo and Lukas Craggs recorded the assists.

At 7:22, Dominic Franco entered the penalty box for Cincinnati on a minor for holding the stick, setting up a power play opportunity for Toledo. Matt Berry helped the Walleye convert on the man advantage for the second time at 8:42 as John Albert and TJ Hensick assisted. Berry became the third Walleye player in as many games to record multi-goal performances against the Cyclones, scoring his second of the night.

The Fish held the lead for the next 11 minutes before Cincinnati countered with another power play goal. Cam Clarke was called for hooking with 17:19 gone, and Dominic Franco scored at 18:41 to tie the game at three. Louie Caporusso and Dajon Mingo provided the assists.

The Walleye and Cyclones exchanged goals throughout the third period as each team looked to gain the edge and seal the victory. After Jesse Mychan was called for a five-minute major and and game misconduct for charging, the Walleye were left shorthanded for five minutes starting at the 2:24 mark. With 5:03 gone, Brett Boeing secured the puck at the red line and scored to give the Walleye the 4-3 lead. Boeing’s shorthanded goal was unassisted.

The Cyclones countered on the power play with just 14 seconds left on the man advantage as Dajon Mingo picked up his third point and first goal of the game at 7:10. Lukas Craggs and Louie Caporusso assisted as Cincinnati pulled even once again.

With 12:45 gone in the frame, TJ Hensick received the puck in the left circle from Brandon Hawkins and scored as he skated toward the front of the net. The Walleye took the 5-4 lead with the goal, scoring their second goal of the frame.

With just over two minutes to play in regulation, the Cyclones tied the game on a Lukas Craggs goal. Wyatt Ege and Matthew Cairns were credited with the assists as Cincinnati forced overtime for the second time in the series.

The Walleye and Cyclones opened overtime with back-and-forth play before Cole Fraser was handed a slew-footing match penalty just under five minutes into the extra period. The Cyclones went on to take nine shots in the period to Toledo’s three, scoring the game-winner at the 9:40 mark in overtime. Patrick Polino was credited with the goal, and Justin Vaive and Jesse Schultz assisted as Cincinnati won, 6-5, to take the 2-1 series lead.

The Walleye took 42 shots to Cincinnati’s 39 in the contest, while Cincinnati held the advantage in power plays, 8-5. Cincinnati converted three times with the man advantage while Toledo scored twice.

Michael Houser earned the win in net for the Cyclones, making 37 saves on 42 shots. Billy Christopoulos was credited with the loss for the Walleye in a 33-save performance.

What’s Next:

The Walleye look to even the series against the Cyclones at two games when they return to the ice on Wednesday, April 27 for Game 4 of the Central Division Semifinals. Puck drop from Heritage Bank Center is set from 7:35 p.m.

Three Stars:

  1. Cincinnati – Patrick Polino (game-winning goal)
  2. Cincinnati – Dajon Mingo (power play goal, two assists)
  3. Toledo – Matt Berry (two goals)