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Walleye have five-game winning streak halted by Fuel

Sunday, February 2nd
Walleye have five-game winning streak halted by Fuel

INDIANAPOLIS – The Toledo Walleye saw their season-high five-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday, as Spencer and Cliff Watson scored in the third period to guide the Indy Fuel to a 3-2 result at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

Troy Loggins and Josh Winquist each netted their 10th goal of the season in the contest, becoming the seventh and eighth Toledo (25-13-3-1) skaters to reach double-figures this season. The Walleye, who did not record at least a point on the road for the first time since Dec. 20 at Wheeling, are 1-4-2-1 against Indy (22-19-2-1) and 18-3-1-0 when facing the rest of the Central Division.

The Walleye were handed a power play at the 22-second mark when Jake Schultz was called for unstrapping his helmet during a bout with Mike Moffat, but the Fuel opened the scoring on an odd-man rush with 2:26 gone in the first frame. Four seconds after the minor penalty expired, Ryan Van Stralen skated around a sliding Steven Oleksy and backhanded the puck through the goal mouth to Alex Rauter for a one-timer over the right pad of Billy Christopoulos.

Toledo bounced back to even the score 13:51 into the first period. After gaining the zone on the right wing and dropping a pass to Josh Kestner near the top of the right circle, Loggins drove toward the net and appeared to use his hip to redirect Kestner's sharp wrister inside the right post.  

The Walleye recorded the first seven shots on goal during a scoreless second period, but the Fuel eventually jumped back in front with 15:20 to go in the final frame. Bobby MacIntyre gained the Toledo line and sent a pass from the left point through the slot to Spencer Watson, who wristed a shot from the right circle inside the left post for his team-leading 25th goal of the season.

The visitors restored parity for a second time when Winquist tallied a power play goal with 14:01 left in regulation. After T.J. Hensick was denied on his sharp-angle attempt near the right goalline, he circled behind the Indy net and centered the puck to Winquist at the left circle for a heavy one-timer inside the near post. 

Indy needed all of 42 seconds to respond with what proved to be the game-winning goal. After Jake Ryczek's one-timer from the right point was blocked by Christopoulos, Cliff Watson gathered the loose puck below the right goalline and succeeded on his wraparound try to give the home side a 3-2 edge.

Toledo finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while Indy failed to score on four opportunities. Charles Williams stopped 31-of-33 shots to claim the victory, as Christopoulos was tagged with the loss despite making 26 saves on his 26th birthday. 

What’s Next:The Walleye will face the Cincinnati Cyclones three times in as many nights next week, beginning on Friday, Feb. 7 when the two teams meet in the Queen City for a 7:35 p.m. puck drop.

Three Stars:1. Indy – Bobby MacIntyre (two assists)2. Indy – Cliff Watson (game-winning goal)3. Indy – Spencer Watson (goal) 

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