TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye bounced back in exciting fashion Sunday evening, scoring three times in the final 1:10 to seal a 5-1 victory over the Indy Fuel at the Huntington Center.
Five players scored for the Fish, and Max Milosek made 20 saves in the victory, helping the Fish improve to 26-9-2 on the season. Toledo remains undefeated against the Fuel this season, winning all six matchups so far this year.
The Walleye skated out to an early advantage in the first period on Conlan Keenan’s tenth goal of the season. The goal came at 4:08 with assists from Brett Boeing and Chris Martenet to give the Fish the 1-0 advantage. It would be the only goal of the period for either team.
Toledo picked up two power play opportunities in the opening frame at 0:37 and 12:51, but Indy earned two successful penalty kills to prevent any more damage. Both teams took nine shots in the period.
The first half of the second period went by with just one penalty on the game sheet as Connor Walters picked up a holding minor with 9:27 gone. Toledo survived the Indy power play, but Mike Lee found the back of the net at 13:36 to tie the game at one goal apiece. Chad Yetman and Jared Thomas tallied the assists. Brycen Marten entered the penalty box at 16:40 for hooking, but the Walleye could not score on the power play, keeping the score even.
Brandon Schultz kicked off the final minute of the period with an equal strength goal at 19:09 to help the Walleye regain the lead. The unassisted goal was Schultz’s sixth of the season and second in as many nights.
At 19:31, a collision with Max Milosek resulted in a scrum at the Toledo net with multiple fights breaking out to the side. Two players for each team received penalties in the aftermath. Chris Martenet and Riley McKay were each handed roughing minors, Mitchell Heard was called for fighting, and Keegan Iverson received a fighting major and charging minor. The Walleye took a five-on-four advantage into the intermission while maintaining their 2-1 lead.
The Walleye scored a trio of goals in the third period, all coming in the final 1:10 of regulation, to cushion their lead. Brandon Hawkins was called for a helmet violation at 16:33, and he scored quickly upon exiting the penalty box. Hawkins stripped the puck from Indy at center ice and sent it into the net, which was vacated at the 18:13 mark, to give the Fish the 3-1 lead. Hawkins has ten goals on the season.
Indy left their net empty, and the Walleye took advantage again just 17 seconds later when Mitchell Heard lit the lamp at 19:07. The goal was Heard’s third of the season. Keenan provided the assist.
Michael Lackey returned to the Indy net following Heard’s goal, but the Fish still found a way to sneak in another goal as Butrus Ghafari and Ian Parker fed Adam Parsells, who scored with 15 seconds left to play. Parsells’ second goal of the season capped off the scoring, and the Walleye finished with five goals to Indy’s one.
The Walleye won the shooting battle, sending 25 shots toward Indy’s goal to the Fuel’s 21. Neither team scored on the power play, with Toledo receiving four opportunities while Indy picked up two.
Max Milosek earned his seventh win in ten games this season for the Walleye, saving 20 shots in a near-shutout performance. Milosek held Indy to just two goals in two games this weekend. Michael Lackey took the loss for Indy, saving 20-of-23 shots in the effort.
The Walleye and Fuel will face off again on Wednesday, Feb. 2, when they travel to Indianapolis for the third of five head-to-head matchups in ten days. Puck drop from Indiana Farmers Coliseum is set for 7 p.m.
- Toledo – Brandon Schultz (goal)
- Toledo – Conlan Keenan (goal, assist)
- Toledo – Chris Martenet (assist)