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Walleye erase three-goal deficit, defeat Cyclones in OT

Sunday, December 15th
Walleye erase three-goal deficit, defeat Cyclones in OT

CINCINNATI – For the second straight road game, the Toledo Walleye trailed by three goals after the opening period. And for the second straight road game, the visitors battled back with three unanswered goals to force overtime, before Josh Winquist set up Brett Boeing on the game-winner with 2:42 left in the extra session to clinch a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones on Saturday at the Heritage Bank Center.

The Walleye (15-8-2-0) made the most of an eventual 2-on-1, as Winquist gained the zone on the left wing and sent a pass from the top of the left circle through the high slot to Boeing, who unloaded a wrist shot from the right dot that sailed past a diving Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen 4:18 into overtime. With the win, Toledo has earned at least a point in its last road tilts (4-0-1-0), while Central Division-leading Cincinnati falls to 11-1-1 at home and 17-6-3 overall.

The Cyclones started the scoring with a pair of goals in a 59-second span. Mason Mitchell had his backhanded effort pushed aside by the right pad of Billy Christopoulos, but John Wiitala raced in from the slot to slide the rebound home 8:51 into the contest.

Cincinnati then added to its lead one shot later. On a tic-tac-toe sequence, Justin Buadry sent the puck back toward the left circle to Brady Vail, who promptly delivered a pass through the goal mouth to Shaw Boomhower for a one-timer into an open net.

The hosts continued to carry the play and opened up a three-goal cushion with 6:38 left in the first frame. While Marcus Vela and Tobie Bisson served coincidental minors, Kurt Gosselin weaved his way into the slot and lifted a wrist shot into the top right corner for his third goal of the season.

After Christopoulos denied Cincinnati on a 2-on-0 early in the second stanza, T.J. Hensick got the Walleye on the scoresheet at the 4:57 mark. Brenden Kotyk missed the net on his initial point shot, but Shane Berschbach played the carom off the end boards and centered the puck to Hensick in front for his seventh goal of the campaign.

Although Toledo was unable to take advantage of back-to-back power plays later in the second period, Troy Loggins sliced the deficit to 3-2 with fewer than nine seconds remaining in the frame. Kotyk had his blast from the point blocked by Luukkonen, but Loggins took a check from Frank Hora at the right circle before getting back on his feet and lifting the rebound into the top right corner.

The Walleye eventually erased their deficit as Alex Kromm restored parity with 8:11 remaining in regulation. Loggins came out from behind the net and had his backhander kicked away by Luukkonen’s left pad, but Kromm was parked behind Cody Sol at the right side of the crease and quickly jabbed the rebound inside the right post. In all, Toledo held Cincinnati to a combined five shots on goal during the third period and overtime, before Winquist set up Boeing on the deciding tally with 2:42 to go in the extra frame. 

The Walleye finished 0-for-2 on the man advantage, while Cincinnati failed to score on its only power play chance. Making his third start in as many nights, Christopoulos stopped 26-of-29 shots to improve to 6-0-1 in seven career ECHL appearances, as Luukkonen turned aside 30-of-34 at the other end.

What’s Next:The Walleye will get some well-deserved rest before returning to the road on Friday, Dec. 20 for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against the Wheeling Nailers.

Three Stars:1. Toledo – Brett Boeing (overtime goal)2. Toledo – Alex Kromm (game-tying goal, assist)3. Toledo – Troy Loggins (goal, assist)

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