INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Toledo Walleye earned their third straight victory on Wednesday night, defeating the Indy Fuel, 4-1, to move to 3-1-0-0 on the season.
Brett McKenzie tallied three points, recording two goals and an assist for the Walleye, and TJ Hensick (two goals) and Keeghan Howdeshell (two assists) collected two points each. Meanwhile, Kaden Fulcher put on a clinic, stopping 25 of 26 shots in his second win of the season.
The Fuel outshot Toledo, 14-7, in the first period, but it was the Walleye who capitalized on their opportunities early in the game. Brett McKenzie found the back of the net first, scoring at the 15:35 mark in the period after Toledo and Indy played back and forth for most of the period with no score. Howdeshell and Butrus Ghafari assisted on the goal.
Toledo and Indy traded penalties throughout the remainder first period and the entirety of the second. Indy’s Kirill Chaika was called for the lone penalty of the first period with 16:52 gone, but the Walleye were unable to score on the power play, leaving the score at 1-0 at the end of the period. John Albert spent his first minutes in the penalty box this season after he was called for high-sticking halfway through the second period. Indy did not score despite the advantage.
Brett McKenzie took advantage of the next power play, scoring his second goal of the game and fourth of the season 14:30 into the second period. The goal came 1:09 after Indy’s Cédric Lacroix received a boarding call, leaving the Fuel shorthanded. Lacroix was later called for cross-checking with 2:07 left, but Toledo was unable to net another goal before the end of the period, leaving the Walleye up, 2-0, heading into the second intermission.
Indy and Toledo each received penalties within the first two minutes of the third period, both of which proved inconsequential as the score remained 2-0 until the halfway mark in the frame. TJ Hensick broke the stalemate at the 10:01 mark with his first of two goals in the period. Cole Fraser received a hooking penalty just 40 seconds later, and Indy responded with a power play goal by Liam Folkes at the 11:20 mark. Toledo’s defense held the Fuel scoreless for the remainder of the game, and Hensick closed the contest with an empty net goal with 44 seconds remaining.
Indy outshot Toledo overall, 26-24, but Toledo got off five more shots than the Fuel across the final two periods. Toledo dominated the shooting in the second period, targeting the goal 12 times compared to Indy’s four.
Both teams netted one power play goal, with the Walleye receiving four chances to the Fuel’s three. Kaden Fulcher stopped all but one shot that came his way on the night, picking up 25 saves en route to his second win of the season.
The Walleye’s five-game road trip will come full circle on Friday when the Fish return to Kalamazoo to take on the Wings. Puck drop from Xtream Arena is set for 7 p.m.
- Toledo – Brett McKenzie (power play goal, two goals, assist)
- Toledo – TJ Hensick (empty net goal, two goals)
- Toledo – Keeghan Howdeshell (two assists)