ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – The Toledo Walleye were dealt their second overtime loss in as many nights on Sunday at Mile One Centre, as Scott Pooley tallied his second goal of the game with 3:59 left in the extra period to give the Newfoundland Growlers a 2-1 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Kelly Cup Finals presented by Smile Direct Club.
Pooley, who knotted the score at one apiece with a power play goal 2:35 into the third period, looked to set up Giorgio Estephan for a one-timer at the lower part of the left circle only for Zach Gallant to hustle back and check Estephan’s stick at the last moment. However, the puck rolled straight to Pooley at the right circle for a wrist shot into an open net as the Growlers maintained their grip on home-ice advantage.
After their fourth overtime setback on the road during the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs presented by Smile Direct Club, the Walleye will return to the Huntington Center for as many as three straight contests. Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:35 p.m.
Newfoundland bounced back from a slow start to record the first six shots of the second period, but Toledo’s first shot of the frame resulted in Shane Berschbach's second power play goal of the final round. Dylan Sadowy threw a pass from just above the right circle to A.J. Jenks at the right goal line, which in turn set up Berschbach at the lower edge of the left circle for a wrist shot into the roof of Michael Garteig’s net at the 3:34 mark.
The game took a scary turn with 1:13 to go in the same stanza. After losing his balance and falling forward as he entered the high slot, Josh Kestner was struck in the head by Kevin Tansey’s left shoulder before being incidentally knocked to the ice from behind by Ben Storm. Kestner, whose overtime winner in Game 1 capped a two-goal performance, was carted off the ice by medical personnel while Tansey was assessed a match penalty for an illegal check to the head.
The Growlers restored parity on the ensuing five-minute power play with 2:35 gone in the third period. Matt Bradley retrieved a loose puck near the right corner and drifted behind the Walleye net, before centering the puck to Pooley at the left circle for a one-timer into the top right corner. The Walleye had more work to do on the penalty kill to send the game into overtime, as Bryan Moore was given consecutive tripping and roughing minors with exactly seven minutes left, while Trevor Hamilton was whistled for high-sticking with 2:30 to go.
Toledo finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Newfoundland scored on one of its seven opportunities. Pat Nagle was tagged with the loss despite blocking 35-of-37 shots, as Garteig stopped 22-of-23 to pick up his ECHL-leading 14th postseason win.
Three Stars:1. Newfoundland – Scott Pooley (two goals)2. Newfoundland – Adam Pardy3. Toledo – Pat Nagle (L, 35 saves)