CORALVILLE, Iowa – The Toledo Walleye competed in their first shootout of the 2021-22 season Friday night against the Iowa Heartlanders. However, the Heartlanders spoiled the occasion as Joe Widmar netted the only shootout goal to help Iowa edge Toledo, 3-2.
John Albert and Mitchell Heard scoring the two Walleye goals as the Fish’s five-game win streak came to an end in Coralville. Toledo falls to 13-5-0-1 on the season with the loss while Iowa improves to 6-12-2-1.
The Heartlanders scored 3:51 after puck drop on a goal from Cole Stallard to take the 1-0 lead. Billy Constantinou and Kaid Oliver collected the assists on the goal. Following that goal, the scoring turned quiet, but the penalties quickly picked up as both teams combined for 16 minutes in the penalty box in the first frame. Oliver got into a confrontation with Cole Fraser in front of the penalty boxes with 8:03 gone, resulting in penalties for both players. Fraser received unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing penalties while Oliver received a roughing minor. At 13:11, Chris Martenet was called for holding, and the Walleye came away unscathed with the successful penalty kill.
The last two minutes of action consisted of four combined penalties that eventually left three skaters on the ice for each team. Iowa’s Yuki Miura was called for slashing at 17:58, and Toledo’s TJ Hensick joined him in the penalty box 21 seconds later for tripping. Toledo picked up a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct at 18:36, and Brandon Schultz served the penalty to leave the Walleye with three skaters. Iowa’s Cole Stallard entered the penalty box with 19 seconds remaining after a hooking call, and the Heartlanders entered the power play with two seconds remaining when Miura’s penalty ended. Iowa maintained a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermssion.
Penalties continued to pile up during the second period, but so did Walleye goals. John Albert scored at the 4:35 mark with help from Cole Fraser to even the score at one apiece. The Heartlanders tallied three penalties and the Walleye added two between the Toledo’s first goal and their second, good for ten minutes in the penalty box. Billy Constantinou received holding calls at 6:20 and 13:13, with the Heartlanders earning both penalty kills. Brady Tomlak and Marcus Vela were called for holding at 8:46 and high sticking at 13:17, respectively. Toledo held Iowa scoreless on their two power plays, shutting out the Heartlanders in the period.
Billy Constantinou received his third penalty of the frame with 17:25 gone, this time for high-sticking, and the Fish made Iowa pay. In his Toledo debut, Mitchell Heard scored his first goal in a Walleye uniform to put the Walleye up, 2-1. TJ Hensick and Marcus Vela tallied the assists on the power play goal, Toledo’s first of the game, and the Walleye ended the period with the one-goal advantage.
After 13 combined penalties in the first two periods, neither team entered the penalty box in the third frame. Toledo looked to protect their one-score lead, but Zach White spoiled Toledo’s chance to win in regulation with a goal at 4:49. Yuki Miura recorded the assist, bringing the score to an even 2-2. Toledo and Iowa battled back and forth for the final 15 minutes, but neither team gained the advantage, sending the contest to overtime.
The overtime period consisted of four Walleye shots to Iowa’s three. Both teams had opportunities to score but could not convert in the seven-minute period, sending the matchup to a shootout. The shootout was Toledo’s first of the season.
The Walleye took the first shot of each round, sending Marcus Vela, TJ Hensick, and Mitchell Heard to face Iowa’s Trevin Kozlowski. Meanwhile, Billy Christopoulos was met by Jake Smith, Bryce Misley, and Joe Widmar. Each team’s first two skaters could not put the puck in the net, leaving it up to the final skaters to decide the winner. Heard was unable to score, and Widmar broke the stalemate by netting the puck to give Iowa the 3-2 shootout win.
Shots on goal remained largely even throughout the contest, with Toledo nudging past Iowa in the category, 35-33. Toledo went 1-for-5 on the power play while the Heartlanders went 0-for-6 with a man advantage.
Trevin Kozlowski picked up the win for Iowa, tallying 33 saves while giving up two goals for the Heartlanders. Billy Christopoulos’ five-game win streak in net for the Walleye came to an end with the loss. He made 30 saves in the effort.
The Walleye return to Xtream Arena tomorrow night for their last road contest against the Heartlanders. Puck drop from Coralville is scheduled for 8 p.m.
- Iowa – Trevin Kozlowski (SOW, 33 saves)
- Iowa – Joe Widmar (shootout goal)
- Iowa – Cole Stallard (goal)