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Gluchowski scores twice as Walleye defeat Cyclones in OT

Saturday, February 8th
Gluchowski scores twice as Walleye defeat Cyclones in OT

CINCINNATINolan Gluchowski scored his first two goals as a Toledo Walleye in dramatic fashion on Friday, tying the game with 1:29 remaining in regulation before adding a power play marker 51 seconds into overtime to clinch a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones at the Heritage Bank Center.

Acquired via trade from Idaho on Jan. 27, Gluchowski was playing in his second game with the Walleye (26-13-3-1) after recording an assist in his debut on Feb. 1 at Indy. The Wixom, Mich., native garnered first-star honors, while Filip Larsson stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced to lift Toledo to a 3-1 record against Cincinnati (29-12-7-0) in the regular-season series.The Walleye, who will host the Cyclones on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5:15 p.m. inside the Huntington Center, have won six of their last seven games overall, with five of those victories decided by a single goal.

Faced with their deficit of the night after Cincinnati seized a 2-1 lead with 2:19 left in regulation, the Walleye needed all of 50 seconds to get back on even terms against the Central Division leaders. With Larsson on the bench for the extra attacker, Shane Berschbach gained possession near the right goalline and sent a pass toward the point to Gluchowski, who unloaded a one-timer through traffic and between the pads of Michael Houser. 

Toledo quickly seized the momentum in the ensuing overtime, and was handed a 4-on-3 power play opportunity when Justin Baudry hauled down Josh Kestner to prevent the latter from gaining a potential breakway attempt at the 33-second mark. Josh Winquist looked as though he would slide the puck through the goal mouth toward Berschbach at the right post, but instead opted to pass to Kestner in the high slot, who in turn set up Gluchowski at the right dot for a wrister past a sliding Houser’s catching glove 51 ticks into the extra frame.

Neither side was able to make a breakthrough until Berschbach tied the franchise record held by Evan Rankin with his 111th career goal in a Walleye uniform late in the second stanza. Berschbach controlled a bouncing puck near center ice and had little trouble getting around Andrew DeBrincat before sending his breakaway attempt along the ice and between Houser's pads at the 14:57 mark. 

Cincinnati eventually knotted the score at one apiece with 16:49 to go in the third. Although Nate Mitton's off-balance wrist shot from the right circle was angled into the left corner by Larsson's blocker, Darik Angeli gathered the puck and scored on a sharp-angle shot from the left goalline that ended up in the top right corner.The Cyclones looked as if as they would escape with both points after snatching a 2-1 lead with 2:19 remaining in regulation. John Wiitala's backhanded pass in the neutral zone helped set up a Cincinnati 2-on-1, as Brady Vai lsaucered the puck to Cody Milan at the back door for a one-timer past the left arm of Larsson.

Toledo finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while Cincinnati failed to score on four opportunities. Houser stopped 22-of-25 shots for the hosts.

What’s Next:The Walleye return to the Huntington Center on Saturday to host the Cyclones at 7:15 p.m., before the same two teams meet again on Sunday at 5:15 p.m.

Three Stars:1. Toledo - Nolan Gluchowski (two goals)2. Toledo - Filip Larsson (W, 27 saves)3. Cincinnati - Cody Milan (goal) 

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