CINCINNATI – The Toledo Walleye moved closer to securing their fifth consecutive postseason appearance with a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones on Thursday at U.S. Bank Arena.
Winless in six straight on the road entering play, the Walleye (36-19-5-3) recorded their first away win against a divisional opponent since a 5-4 win at Kalamazoo on Dec. 29, 2018. Cincinnati (46-11-4-3), who clinched the Central Division title with a 4-1 decision over Wheeling the previous night, failed to pick up points on home ice for the second time in 33 contests this season (27-2-2-2).
Dylan Sadowy paced Toledo on offense with a goal and two assists, giving him 16 points (8-8-16) over a torrid 10-game stretch. Bryan Moore scored what held up as the game-winning goal 3:44 into the third period, while Ben Danford added two helpers after missing the last 10 games due to injury.
The Walleye resisted early pressure and broke the deadlock at the 15:12 mark of the opening period. A Cincinnati clearing attempt fell right onto the tape of Sadowy, who quickly buried a wrist shot from the left circle inside the near post for his team-leading 22nd goal of the campaign.
Ryan Obuchowski doubled Toledo’s lead 8:19 into the middle stanza. After taking a pass from Greg Wolfe at the right point, Trevor Hamilton set up Obuchowski in the high slot for a wrister into the top right corner.
The Cyclones answered at the 11:04 mark, as Vasili Glotov gained a loose puck in the slot and fired a turnaround shot that pinballed off Hamilton and Pat Nagle before bouncing over the Toledo netminder’s mask and over the goalline.
The Walleye restored their two-goal margin moments later. Danford’s initial slapshot from the right point was kicked away by Houser, but the rebound came all the way to Kevin Tansey at the top of the left circle for a shot inside the right post at 15:06.
Cincinnati scored on the power play with 5.8 seconds to go in the middle period, and pulled even 28 ticks into the final frame. A centering feed from Shaw Boomhower eventually reached Kurt Gosselin in the high slot for a one-timer into the top right corner to cut the deficit to 3-2 heading into the second intermission. Glotov notched his second goal of the night on a sharp wrister from the left point to level the score at three apiece.
Moore outsmarted two Cincinnati skaters to put the Walleye back in front with 16:16 remaining in regulation. Houser blocked Danford’s one-timer from the right point, but Moore was in perfect position to move to his forehand before smashing the rebound into an open net.
Cincinnati finished 1-for-2 on the man advantage, while Toledo was unable to convert on a pair of opportunities. Nagle stopped 21-of-24 shots to improve to 21-12-3, as Houser turned away 26-of-30 in defeat.
What’s Next:The Walleye begin a five-game home stand on Friday, as they welcome the Brampton Beast to the Huntington Center for a 7:15 p.m. puck drop.
Three Stars:1. Cincinnati – Vasili Glotov (two goals)2. Toledo – Dylan Sadowy (goal, two assists)3. Cincinnati – Kurt Gosselin (power play goal, assist)
Fish Tales:• Felix Chamberland made his professional debut after completing four seasons with Canisius College (AHA).