TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye looked to cap off their season series with the Iowa Heartlanders with a victory at the Huntington Center, but Kris Bennett found the back of the net in overtime to seal a 6-5 Iowa victory.
Brett Boeing and Mitchell Heard each scored twice, and Gordi Myer added a tally for the Fish in the effort. Toledo finished their first season series with the Heartlanders with a 6-1-2 record, including unbeaten in regulation at home with a 3-0-1 record.
The Fish jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period as Mitchell Heard and Brett Boeing each found the back of the net. Heard’s goal came with just 14 seconds remaining in Toledo’s first power play opportunity, giving him his fifth goal of the year at 3:27. Brandon Hawkins and Josh Dickinson assisted for their 22nd and 27th points of the season, respectively.
Boeing scored his 12th goal of the season at 7:51 as Cole Fraser passed to Conlan Keenan behind the Iowa net, who fed Boeing for the equal strength goal. Both players have eleven helpers so far this season.
The Walleye saw their 2-0 lead disappear in the middle of the period after losing two skaters to the penalty box in 41 seconds. Brandon Hawkins picked up a tripping call at 9:19, and Boeing joined him for the same penalty with 10:00 gone. Iowa capitalized with the 5-on-3 advantage as Ryan Kuffner assisted Kris Bennett for the power play goal at 10:07. 21 seconds later, Jake Smith tied the game as Kuffner and Kaid Oliver collected the assists.
Toledo had one more power play opportunity at the 12:43 mark as Bennett was called for high-sticking, but Iowa successfully killed the penalty to hold the Walleye to 1-for-2 with the man advantage in the opening period. The Walleye outshot the Heartlanders, 14-10 in the frame, and the two teams played out the remainder of the frame in a 2-2 stalemate.
The Walleye took the lead seven minutes into the second period on a power play goal by Gordi Myer. Iowa’s Jeff Solow entered the penalty box at 5:08 for tripping, and Myer found the back of the net three seconds before the power play was set to expire. Brandon Schultz and Ryan Lowney assisted as the Fish took the 3-2 lead.
Iowa responded with two goals by Ryan Kuffner in less than two minutes. Kuffner scored an equal strength goal at 10:21 with help from Bennett and Billy Constantinou before netting a power play goal with 12:10. Zach White and Jake Smith assisted, giving the Heartlanders their first lead.
The Fish trailed for the next six minutes before scoring twice in 30 seconds. Heard, assisted by Conlan Keenan and Brett Boeing, found the back of the net with 17:54 gone for his second goal of the game. Then, Boeing scored on a highlight-reel goal off a pass from Myer to pick up his third point of the contest. The Walleye entered the second intermission with the 5-4 lead.
The Fish looked to defend their lead in the final period, but Austin McIlmurray had other ideas. The new Heartlander found the back of the net against his former team with 7:49 gone to tie the game at five goals apiece. Jeff Solow and Carter Shinkaruk assisted on the goal. Both teams had another power play opportunity in the final frame, but neither team broke the tie, sending the contest to overtime.
Toledo and Iowa played a back-and-forth overtime period with each team earning multiple opportunities to seal the contest. Finally, Kris Bennett broke free of the three Walleye defenders to face Max Milosek one-on-one and found the back of the net at the 4:28 mark to clinch the victory for the Heartlanders. The goal was Bennett’s second of the game and third point of the night. Iowa finished the season series with the 6-5 victory, collecting their first win in Toledo in franchise history.
The Walleye outshot the Heartlanders by a 12-shot margin, taking 44 shots to Iowa’s 32. Each team took the man advantage four times, with Iowa converting three times while Toledo scored twice.
Dereck Baribeau earned the victory for the Heartlanders, making 39 saves on 44 shots. Max Milosek was credited with the loss in a 26-save outing for the Walleye.
The Walleye will travel to Cincinnati to face the Cyclones tomorrow night. Puck drop from Heritage Bank Center is set for 7:35 p.m.
- Iowa – Kris Bennett (game-winning goal, power play goal, assist)
- Toledo – Brett Boeing (two goals, assist)
- Iowa – Ryan Kuffner (power play goal, equal strength goal, two assists)