TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye rallied for three goals in the final 4:15 of regulation to grab a 5-3 victory and complete a home-and-home preseason sweep of the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday before a crowd of 7,464 at the Huntington Center.
Faced with their third one-goal deficit of the contest in the waning moments of the final period, the Walleye evened the score at 3-3 when Zack Phillips intercepted a pass behind the Kalamazoo net and backhanded the puck to Brett Boeing at the left circle for a one-timer inside the right post at the 15:45 mark.
Toledo then captured its first lead of the night with 2:37 to go in regulation, as T.J. Hensick chipped a pass through the goal mouth to set up Abbott Girduckis at the left post for the latter’s second consecutive two-goal game of the preseason. With Kalamazoo netminder Jake Kielly on the bench for the extra attacker, Boeing took the remnants of a blocked shot in his own zone and launched his second goal of the frame into the vacated net with 48.5 seconds to play.
The Walleye created a handful of chances on an early power play, but fell behind 6:22 into the opening stanza when Toledo alumnus Dylan Sadowy gained the zone on the left wing and fired a slap shot between the catching glove and body of Pat Nagle.
The hosts continued to generate opportunities in front, and were finally rewarded with an equalizer later in the period. After Brandon Anselmini’s initial one-timer from the right point was blocked by Kielly, Phillips took a couple whacks at the rebound before chipping the loose puck over a sprawling Kielly at the 10:20 mark.
Justin Taylor gave Kalamazoo a 2-1 edge with 5:29 left in the first, but the Walleye bounced back to restore parity just 1:11 later. Following a faceoff win in the offensive zone, Anselmini sent the puck across to Blake Hillman, whose wrist shot from the left point was redirected in the high slot by Girduckis into the top right corner. Matt Iacopelli put the visitors ahead by a 3-2 count 4:19 into the middle period, but neither team authored another goal until the Walleye produced their successful comeback bid.
Nagle stopped 23-of-26 shots to claim the win, while Keilly turned aside 26-of-30 in defeat. Toledo was unable to convert on eight power play chances, as Kalamazoo finished 0-for-4 on the man advantage.
What’s Next:The Walleye open their 11th regular season on Saturday, Oct. 12 with a road tilt against the Brampton Beast. Puck drop from the CAA Centre is scheduled for 4 p.m.