FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Toledo Walleye netted four goals in the second period before adding a trio of insurance markers in the final frame to secure an emphatic 7-3 victory over the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday at the Memorial Coliseum.
T.J. Hensick was one of five Walleye (3-1-1-0) skaters to notch multiple points, tallying a goal and three assists for his first four-point output since the 2011-12 AHL season as a member of the Peoria Rivermen. Leading scorer Dylan Sadowy registered a pair of goals and an assist, while A.J. Jenks logged a power play goal along with two helpers. Making his second start in a Toledo uniform, Kaden Fulcher turned aside 26-of-29 shots to earn his first professional win.
Neither team could break the scoreless tie in the opening frame, though a J.C. Campagna holding minor at the 19:07 mark enabled the Walleye power play to work on a fresh sheet of ice. Twenty seconds into the middle period, Hensick gained the zone and flipped the puck to Shane Berschbach for a shot at the left circle past Zachary Fucale to give the visitors a 1-0 edge and snap Fort Wayne’s (1-4-0-0) streak of 22 successful penalty kills to begin the campaign.
Toledo doubled its advantage one shot later, as Hunter Smith fed the puck to Berschbach, who returned the favor by sending the puck across the goal mouth to Smith for his first goal of the season 2:03 into the second stanza.
Chase Stewart got the Komets on the scoresheet 7:51 into the second, but the Walleye bounced back to restore its two-goal cushion just shy of the halfway mark. After Sadowy’s effort was fought off by Fucale, Hensick was positioned in front to tuck home the rebound for his second goal in as many nights to extend the lead to 3-1 with 10:17 to go in the frame.
The offensive outburst continued as Jenks potted Toledo’s second power play goal of the frame with 5:28 on the clock. Jenks had his initial attempt blocked by Jason Binkley, but made no mistake on his second effort to open up a 4-1 advantage heading into the second intermission.
Toledo built on its superiority on special teams, bagging a shorthanded goal 2:36 into the third. On an eventual 2-on-1, Bryan Moore set up Kevin Tansey for a pair of point-blank chances to stake Toledo to a 5-1 lead with 17:24 remaining in the last leg.
Fort Wayne showed flashes of life in the seconds after Tansey’s goal, as Campagna scored on the power play at 2:46 before Marc-Olivier Roy lit the lamp 28 ticks later to cut the deficit to 5-3.
Sadowy provided the exclamation point on the high-scoring affair, collecting two goals in a 1:47 span. At the 7:54 mark of the third, the 22-year-old cut across the front of the net and lifted a backhanded shot past Fucale to make it a 6-3 contest. A seventh goal arrived when Charlie O’Connor’s pass reached Sadowy for a successful breakaway attempt, prompting the Komets to yank Fucale in favor of Lukas Hafner.
Toledo finished 2-for-6 on the man advantage, while Fort Wayne converted on 1-of-4 opportunities. Fucale blocked 21-of-28 shots in a losing cause before Hafner stopped all five shots he faced in relief.
The Walleye return to the Huntington Center on Saturday to open the home portion of their regular season schedule against the Fort Wayne Komets. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
1. Toledo – Dylan Sadowy (two goals, one assist)
2. Toledo – T.J. Hensick (goal, three assists)
3. Toledo – A.J. Jenks (power play goal, two assists)