CORALVILLE, Iowa – The Toledo Walleye completed the weekend sweep of the Iowa Heartlanders, scoring three times in the final 5:05 of regulation to seal the 5-2 victory in Coralville.
For the second night in a row, a Toledo player recorded a hat trick against Iowa. Marcus Vela scored three goals, including the game-winner in the third period, to help the Walleye improve to 2-1-0-0 on the season. Last night’s hat trick recipient, John Albert, found the back of the net for the third straight game in tonight’s victory. He now leads the ECHL in goals and points this season.
Toledo picked up right where they left off following Friday’s 10-1 victory, scoring two goals in 1:57 of game time to make the score 2-0 early in the first period. John Albert, assisted by Gordi Myer and Brady Tomlak, netted his fifth goal of the season just 4:01 into the game, and Marcus Vela followed up with a goal set up by Brett McKenzie at the 5:58 mark.
Toledo and Iowa each played with a man advantage two times over the last 11:42 of the first period, but neither team scored and Toledo ended the period with a 2-0 advantage.
Iowa’s Cole Golka was the lone scorer in the second period, tying the game with two goals in the period. His first goal came at the 2:52 mark in the period with an assist from Joe Widmar. Golka’s unassisted goal at 13:48 in the second evened the match at two goals each.
Toledo narrowly edged out Iowa with 10 shots on goal in the period to the Heartlanders’ seven, but the Walleye failed to net the puck in the frame, leaving the game tied heading into the second intermission.
Scoring remained stagnant from both sides for much of the third period, but Marcus Vela ended the chance of heading to overtime when he scored his second goal of the game with 5:05 remaining in regulation on an assist by Josh Dickinson. TJ Hensick quickly added a goal of his own with 4:23 remaining, and Vela capped off the second Toledo hat trick in as many nights with an empty net goal at the 19:29 mark in the final frame, bringing the final score to 5-2.
The Walleye took advantage of their opportunities, outshooting Iowa, 41-28, over the course of the game. Billy Christopoulos earned his first win of the season, rejecting 26 of 28 shots he faced in 60 minutes in the net. Toledo and Iowa went a combined 0-for-9 on power play opportunities.
The Walleye continue their road trip on Wednesday, Nov. 3, when they head to Indianapolis for their first matchup of the season with the Indy Fuel. Puck drop from Indiana Farmers Coliseum is scheduled for 7 p.m.
- Iowa – Cole Golka (two goals)
- Toledo – Marcus Vela (game-winning goal, three goals)
- Iowa – Hunter Jones (L, 41 saves)