CORALVILLE, Iowa – Marcus Vela continued his scoring spree, netting his fifth goal in the last three games to lead the Toledo Walleye to a 4-0 shutout of the Iowa Heartlanders for their fifth straight win.
Toledo moves to 13-5-0 on the year and 5-0-0 against Iowa this season. The Walleye took control of the puck for much of the contest, tallying 40 shots while holding Iowa to just 19 on the night as Kaden Fulcher picked up his second shutout of the year.
Toledo opened the first period dominating the shooting, taking 13 shots to the Heartlanders’ three. The Walleye turned one of those shots into a goal as John Albert found the back of the net at the 12:16 mark on assists from Josh Dickinson and Randy Gazzola. The score was Albert’s ninth of the season. Josh Dickinson extended his team-leading point streak to nine games on the assist. He entered tonight’s game leading the ECHL in helpers. The Walleye held the Heartlanders scoreless in the opening period, earning one penalty kill in the frame, The Fish led, 1-0, after the first 20 minutes.
The second period consisted of four combined penalties between Toledo and Iowa, three going to the Heartlanders. Jack Billings collected the first penalty, a slashing minor, just 34 seconds into the second period. The Heartlanders earned the penalty kill but were met with an equal strength Walleye goal at 4:45, Toledo’s second goal of the game. Marcus Vela earned the score, his fifth in the last three contests, to give the Walleye the 2-0 advantage. It was the first and only goal scored by either team in the second period.
Cole Golka and Jake Smith each spent two minutes in the penalty box for Iowa in the second frame. Golka’s penalty came at 5:13 for tripping, and Smith was called for hooking at 16:18. Iowa prevented the Fish from scoring on both opportunities, leaving the Walleye 0-for-3 with a man advantage in the period.
Cole Fraser was called for roughing with eight seconds remaining in the second frame following a hard hit after the whistle. The Heartlanders spent the first 1:52 of the final frame on the power play but failed to score with the man advantage as the Walleye came back to full strength.
Both teams spent the next seven minutes looking for a goal, and Brett Boeing collected one for the Walleye at 9:34, assisted by Randy Gazzola and Marcus Vela. The score was Boeing’s second of the season, with his first coming in Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Walleye went up, 3-0, with the goal.
Marcus Vela collected the final two penalty minutes of the game on a high-sticking penalty at 11:51. The Walleye earned the successful penalty kill to hold Iowa scoreless on the power play.
The Heartlanders emptied their net with 3:20 to play, bringing on an extra skater to try to narrow the gap, but the Walleye scored their fourth goal of the contest with 48 seconds remaining. Conlan Keenan netted the puck for Toledo, his third goal of the season, and Iowa’s Trevin Kozlowski returned to the net for the remainder of the contest as the Walleye earned the 4-0 shutout.
The Walleye more than doubled the Heartlanders’ shots on goal with a 40-19 advantage, outshooting Iowa in every period. Both teams were unable to convert on the power play, each going 0-for-3 on their opportunities.
Kaden Fulcher earned his second shutout of the season for Toledo, saving all 19 shots in the victory. Trevin Kozlowski picked up the loss for Iowa, saving 36-of-39 shots while giving up three goals.
The Walleye and Heartlanders have the day off before returning to the ice Friday for their second of three matchups this week. Puck drop from Xtream Arena is set for 8 p.m.
- Toledo – Marcus Vela (goal, assist)
- Toledo – Kaden Fulcher (W, shutout, 19 saves)
- Toledo – Randy Gazzola (two assists)