TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye had their late comeback bid halted by the Adirondack Thunder in front of a School Education Day-record crowd of 7,731 on Wednesday, as the visitors held on for a 3-2 win at the Huntington Center.
The result marks Toledo’s (11-7-1-0) first regulation loss on home ice this season (4-1-1-0), while Adirondack (11-9-0-2) has won three straight contests and five of its last six overall. Eamon McAdam stopped 28-of-30 shots to earn first-star honors, while Filip Larsson turned away 17-of-20 for the Walleye in his ECHL debut.
Adirondack broke the deadlock with a counterattack 8:28 into the opening period. Haydeen Verbeek couldn’t corral a bouncing puck at the right point, but James Phelan quickly created a 2-on-1 and chipped a pass toward the high slot to Matt Salhany, who outwaited Larsson and tucked a shot just inside the left post.
The Walleye pulled even on their first power play chance later in the frame. After a one-timer from Charle-Edouard D’Astous caromed off the end boards, Shane Berschbach tried to jam home the puck near the left post before Troy Loggins stabbed the rebound over a sprawled-out McAdam at the 12:45 mark.
The Thunder reclaimed their one-goal lead moments later. Shortly after a stretch pass from Salhany set up an odd-man rush in the Toledo zone, Mike Szmatula was in front of the crease to redirect Robbie Payne’s centering feed into an open net at 16:45.
Adirondack eventually doubled its lead with 10:32 gone in the second stanza, as Charlie Curti scored what proved to be the game-winning goal when his wrist shot from the point found its way through traffic and past a screened Larsson
The Walleye carried the play for much of the third period, and made it a one-goal game with 3:11 remaining in regulation. Although his initial wrist shot hit traffic in front, D’Astous raced toward the left post and created a couple more scoring chances, the last of which he banked off McAdam’s right skate and in for his second goal of the cmapaign. Toledo would yank Larsson for the extra attacker and burn its timeout with 1:35 to play, but could not restore parity as the Adirondack escaped with a 3-2 decision.
Toledo finished 1-for-2 on the power play, while Adirondack failed to score on a pair of opportunities.
What’s Next:The Walleye remain at the Huntington Center on Friday to battle the Brampton Beast, before hosting the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday. Both games start at 7:15 p.m.
Three Stars:1. Adirondack – Eamon McAdam (W, 28 saves)2. Adirondack – Charlie Curti (game-winning goal)3. Adirondack – Mike Szmatula (goal)