TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye were on cloud nine against the Brampton Beast on Saturday, scoring four goals in the second and third periods to earn a convincing 9-2 victory before a capacity crowd of 8,101 at the Huntington Center.
Making his season debut with the Walleye (7-2-1-0), Mike Moffat was among eight skaters to log multiple points as he scored the first two goals of his professional career during the final frame. Justin Buzzeo added a power play goal and two assists, while Abbott Girduckis, Brenden Kotyk, Tyler Spezia and Marcus Vela each tallied a goal and an assist. Additionally, Blake Hillman finished with a plus-5 rating as he and fellow defenseman Brandon Anselmini contributed a pair of helpers.
Josh Kestner started the scoring 12:03 into the opening period to boost his individual point streak to nine consecutive games. After intercepting a Brampton (6-5-0-0) pass at his own blue line, he moved from backhand to forehand before tucking a breakaway attempt between the right post and the outstretched left skate of goaltender Joey Daccord.
The Beast knotted the score at one apiece 1:41 later, but the Walleye reclaimed the lead barely two minutes into the middle stanza. Girduckis came away with the puck behind Brampton’s net and flipped a backhanded shot into the top left corner for his team-best sixth goal of the season.
The ECHL’s most efficient power play quicly went to work and doubled Toledo’s advantage 1:23 later. Troy Loggins sent a rinkwide slap pass thorugh the high slot to Buzzeo at the right circle for a one-timer over a sprawling Daccord.
The Walleye added another power play marker moments later to seize a commanding 4-1 lead. Although Anselmini’s initial one-timer from the right point was blocked by Daccord, Spezia collected the giant rebound in the slot and moved to his backhand to lift a shot into the roof of the net at the 7:13 mark.
Brampton’s night went from bad to worse as Charle-Edouard D’Astous notched his first pro goal with 1:54 to go in the same period. With both teams skating four aside, T.J. Hensick centered a pass toward the high slot to D’Astous, who had plenty of time and space to move from forehand to backhand to slide a shot underneath Daccord’s left pad.
The Walleye kept their foot on the gas and buried a sixth goal 3:45 into the third. Moffat weaved his way from the right circle down to the near post, where he jammed home his first goal of the campaign after spending the previous nine games on injured reserve.
Brampton netted a second goal at the 5:24 mark, but the floodgates soon re-opened when Vela drove to the net and redirected Alex Kromm’s centering feed into an empty cage exactly seven minutes into the frame.
Having restored their five-goal cushion, the Walleye finished off the Beast by scoring twice in a 17-second span. Shortly after stepping out of the penalty box, Moffat took a stretch pass from Hillman and lifted his breakaway attempt into the top right corner to extend the lead to 8-2 with 7:29 remaining in the contest. Kotyk then ripped a slapshot from the right side of center ice that squeezed between Daccord’s catching glove and body to make it 9-2, which proved to be the end of the line for Brampton’s starter.
Toledo ended the night 2-for-7 on the power play, while Brampton came up empty on five opportunities. Nagle stopped 27-of-29 shots to improve to 7-1-1 in nine starts, as Daccord blocked 14-of-23 in a losing effort before Alex Dubeau turned aside all three attempts he faced in relief.
What’s Next:The Walleye will play seven of their next eight games on the road, beginning on Sunday as they wrap up a three-in-three weekend against these same Brampton Beast. Puck drop from the CAA Centre is set for 4 p.m.
Three Stars:1. Toledo – Mike Moffat (two goals)2. Toledo – Justin Buzzeo (power play goal, two assists)3. Toledo – Marcus Vela (goal, assist)