TOLEDO, Ohio – Four Toledo Walleye players found the back of the net against the Iowa Heartlanders on Friday night as the Walleye defeated Iowa, 5-1, to pick up their second straight win.
Marcus Vela scored twice in the victory, and Victor Brattstrom stopped 19 shots for a near-shutout in his Walleye debut. Toledo moves to 7-4-0 on the season and 3-2-0 at home with the win in the Huntington Center.
The Walleye jumped out to an early lead, netting three goals in the first period. Josh Dickinson notched the first goal, his fourth of the season, on assists from Matt Berry and TJ Hensick at the 5:27 mark. Steve Oleksy picked up the lone Toledo penalty of the period on a tripping call at 7:34, and the Walleye earned a successful penalty kill before Brady Tomlak found the back of the net with 12:03 gone in the period. Butrus Ghafari and Blake Hillman picked up the assists, their fourth and eighth of the year, respectively.
Marcus Vela capped off the first period scoring for the Walleye with an equal strength goal at the 16:50 mark. Chris Martenet and Conlan Keenan recorded the helpers for the Walleye. Toledo ended the first period on a power play after Iowa’s Riese Zmolek was called for cross-checking with just six seconds remaining. The Walleye ended the period with a 12-9 shot advantage, holding the Heartlanders scoreless over the first 20 minutes.
Toledo’s power play continued into the second period, and the Walleye took swift advantage on a goal from Matt Berry, assisted by Hensick and Hillman. The goal came just 1:09 into the frame, giving the Walleye the 4-0 lead. Iowa picked up two more penalties in the period, one at the 4:45 mark and another after 16:24, but the Heartlanders prevented the Walleye from extending the lead for the rest of the frame. The Fish outshot Iowa, 12-5, in the period.
The final 20 minutes featured a pair of goals and nine penalties between the Walleye and Heartlanders. Chris Martenet entered the penalty box twice in the first ten minutes for tripping at 0:57 and roughing at 9:10. Marcus Vela scored his second goal of the game during the latter penalty, bringing the Walleye lead to five on the unassisted score. Vela’s multi-goal performance brought his season goal total to seven and his point total to ten.
The Walleye’s shutout bid ended with Iowa’s lone goal of the game, scored by Bryce Misley on the power play with 9:07 remaining. Goaltender Victor Brattstrom saved 19 of 20 shots in an impressive debut performance for the Walleye.
The last 2:06 included seven penalties from two incidents. Toledo’s Steve Oleksy and Iowa’s Kaid Oliver each received roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct minors after a late-game confrontation, ending both of their nights. Then, as game time expired, Martenet picked up a cross-checking penalty while Toledo’s Cole Fraser and Iowa’s Chris Bennett were each called for roughing. The Walleye came away with the 5-1 victory, their third victory over the Heartlanders this season.
Toledo outshot Iowa, 31-20, in the contest, while each team took advantage of one of their three power play opportunities. Victor Brattstrom earned his first win of the season, saving 95 percent of his shots in his first game for the Walleye. Iowa’s Hunter Jones was credited with the loss for Iowa.
The Walleye and Heartlanders will take the ice at the Huntington Center tomorrow night for their fourth meeting of the season. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
- Toledo – Marcus Vela (short handed goal, equal strength goal)
- Toledo – Matt Berry (power play goal, assist)
- Toledo – TJ Hensick (two assists)