CINCINNATI, Ohio – Four players scored, and the Toledo Walleye cruised to a 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones at Heritage Bank Center.
The Fish improved to 22-8-2 heading into the All-Star break and now hold a two-game win streak. The Walleye snapped Cincinnati’s seven-game home win streak dating back to Dec. 8.
Mitchell Heard gave the Walleye an early 1-0 lead with a goal just 2:24 into the contest. The goal came off a pass from Brett Boeing, giving heard his second goal of the season. The Fish outshot the Cyclones, 13-8, in the period as Heard’s goal proved to be the only score of the opening frame.
Each team picked up a tripping penalty during the opening period, with Brandon Schultz entering the penalty box at the 9:29 mark and Jack Van Boekel following at 16:59. Neither team converted with the man advantage, and the Walleye ended the first period with the 1-0 lead.
Each team scored once in a penalty-filled second period, starting with the Walleye two minutes in. Cincinnati’s Dajon Mingo was called for tripping at the 1:22 mark, resulting in a power play goal from Brandon Hawkins. Hawkins’ sixth goal of the season stemmed from assists by Mitchell Heard and TJ Hensick, giving Toledo the 2-0 advantage.
The Walleye found themselves down two skaters just before the eight-minute mark when Heard and Randy Gazzola received penalties ten seconds apart for slashing and high-sticking, respectively. 19 seconds after Gazzola entered the box with 7:41 gone, Cincinnati’s Justin Vaive found the back of the net to trim the Walleye lead to one. Jesse Schultz and Wyatt Ege assisted on the power play goal.
The Walleye went to the penalty kill once again on Ryan Lowney’s high-sticking minor at 17:03, this time preventing the Cyclones from scoring with the man advantage as the period entered its final minute. With eight seconds left in the frame, TJ Hensick and Louie Caporusso entered the penalty box to send the game to four-on-four heading into the final period.
Toledo extended their lead by two goals in the final period to cruise to a 4-1 victory. Keeghan Howdeshell netted an equal strength goal with 14:05 gone for his seventh goal of the year. TJ Hensick earned his second assist of the game, and Austin McIlmurray provided the other helper.
With the score still 3-1, Cincinnati looked to get back in the game by emptying their net while on a late power play. With a two-man disadvantage, Conlan Keenan poked the puck free, and Brett Boeing skated down the ice for the short handed goal on the empty net. The goal sealed the game for the Walleye, and the Fish headed into the All-Star break with the win.
The Walleye took 34 shots to Cincinnati’s 25, including a 15-8 shooting advantage in the third period. The Cyclones had five power play opportunities, converting on one, while the Walleye scored once on their three chances with the man advantage.
Max Milosek stopped 24-of-25 shots in a near-shutout performance for the Walleye. He moves to 3-2-0 for the Fish this season. Brendan Bonello took the loss for the Cyclones, saving 30-of-33 shots.
The Walleye will return to the ice following the All-Star break, facing the Iowa Heartlanders on Friday, Jan. 21. Puck drop from the Huntington Center is set for 7:15 p.m.
- Toledo – Mitchell Heard (goal, assist)
- Toledo – Brett Boeing (empty net short handed goal, assist)
- Cincinnati – Justin Vaive (power play goal)