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Walleye defeat Wings, 4-2, on big performances from Keenan and Schultz

Saturday, January 8th
Walleye defeat Wings, 4-2, on big performances from Keenan and Schultz

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Conlan Keenan scored twice, Brandon Schultz picked up his first three professional points, and the Toledo Walleye skated past the Kalamazoo Wings, 4-2, Friday night at Wings Events Center.

The Walleye trailed, 2-1, heading into the final period, but a three-goal final period helped the Fish cruise to victory. The Fish are 19-6-2 on the season and remain in first place in the Central Division.

The Walleye dominated Kalamazoo in shots on goal in the first period, taking 12 shots while holding the Wings to just four. One of those Toledo shots turned into a goal as Conlan Keenan scored at the 7:12 mark, his sixth goal of the season. Connor Walters and Steve Oleksy made the assists, their second and eighth of the season, respectively. Toledo had two power play opportunities to Kalamazoo’s one, but neither team scored with the man advantage in the first period.

Despite being outshot, 18-13, in the second period, Kalamazoo won the scoring battle in the middle frame. The Wings scored twice at 4:11 and 19:06 to take a 2-1 lead heading into the final frame. The first goal came off the stick of Max Humitz, with Giovanni Vallati and Logan Lambdin assisting. Randy Gazzola received a tripping penalty just after the 13-minute mark, and the Fish successfully killed the penalty. Andrew DeBrincat scored the second goal for the K-Wings with 56 seconds remaining with help from Kyle Blaney and Cody Corbett.

The Walleye bounced back in strong fashion in the third period, scoring three goals to take the lead for good. Brandon Schultz had a period to remember, earning his first professional point on an assist to Brandon Hawkins at the 3:15 mark. Hawkins’ goal tied the game at two. Then, at the 11:22 mark, Conlan Keenan scored again to put the Fish ahead. Schultz and Hawkins provided the assists, giving each player their second point of the period.

Wings goaltender Trevor Gorsuch vacated the net with 18:02 gone, and Brandon Schultz scored his first professional goal 15 seconds later on the empty net. The assists came from Brandon Hawkins and Chris Martenet. Schultz and Hawkins each finished with a goal and two assists, all coming in the third period.

Austin McIlmurray served a delay of game penalty with 1:03 remaining in the game, putting the Wings on the power play. The Wings, still with the net empty, had a six-on-four advantage for 50 seconds until Andrew DeBrincat was called for tripping. Trevor Gorsuch returned to the goal, and the final 13 seconds played out with four-on-four hockey. The Walleye came away with the 4-2 victory, their fifth straight on the road.

The Walleye took 44 shots to Kalamazoo’s 26 during the contest, while the Wings held the 3-2 advantage on power play opportunities. Neither team scored with the man advantage, while Toledo scored one empty net goal.

Billy Christopoulos extended his win streak to three contests and his unbeaten in regulation streak to 12 games, saving 24-of-26 shots. His record moves to 13-2-2. Trevor Gorsuch took the loss for Kalamazoo despite saving 40-of-43 shots in 58:26 in net.

What’s Next:

The Walleye conclude their three-game road trip tomorrow when they return to Fort Wayne to take on the Komets. Puck drop from Memorial Coliseum is set for 7:30 p.m.

Three Stars:

  1. Toledo – Conlan Keenan (two goals)
  2. Kalamazoo – Trevor Gorsuch (L, 40 saves)
  3. Toledo – Brandon Schultz (empty net goal, two assists)

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