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Walleye blank Beast in regular season finale

Monday, April 8th
Walleye blank Beast in regular season finale

BRAMPTON, OntarioTrevor Gorsuch stopped all 27 shots he faced to pick up his first professional shutout as the Toledo Walleye wrapped up their 10th regular season with a 3-0 victory over the Brampton Beast on Sunday at the CAA Centre.

With the clean sheet, Gorsuch improves to 3-1 with a 1.75 goals-against average and a 0.945 save percentage over his first four ECHL starts. Meanwhile, former Toledo netminder Jake Paterson earned second-star honors by blocking 32-of-34 shots, though his season record fell to 11-13-1.

The Walleye, who finished 17-14-3-2 on the road and 40-23-6-3 overall, extended a Glass City record by reaching the 40-win plateau for their fifth successive campaign. While Shane Berschbach, Bryan Moore, Ben Storm and Greg Wolfe were all rested after playing the previous night against Brampton (36-29-5-2), A.J. Jenks returned to the lineup following a nine-game spell on injured reserve. 

Ben Danford broke the scoreless tie on Toledo’s first power play chance 11:31 into the opening period. After playing catch with Tyler Spezia at the point, Danford flipped a wrist shot that sailed through traffic and past a screened Paterson. 

The Walleye held on to their 1-0 lead through an evenly matched middle stanza, and eventually widened the gap in the final frame courtesy of David Pope’s third goal in as many games. Unmarked as he came off the bench and entered the Brampton zone, Pope took a pass from Zach Gallant just above the left circle and had plenty of room to lift his breakaway attempt into the top left corner with 9:04 remaining. A third goal arrived when Spezia set up Chris Crane in the slot for an empty-netter with 15.5 seconds to play.

Toledo finished 1-for-2 on the power play and was a perfect 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. 

What’s Next:With the regular season in the rear-view mirror, the Walleye will host the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 for Games 1 and 2 of the Central Division Semifinals. Puck drop from the Huntington Center is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. each night.

Three Stars:1. Toledo – Trevor Gorsuch (SO, 27 saves)2. Brampton – Jake Paterson (L, 32 saves)3. Toledo – Ben Danford (power play goal) 

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