TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye suffered their first home shutout of the season Sunday evening, falling, 3-0, to the Indy Fuel at the Huntington Center.
The loss snapped a perfect record for the Walleye against Indy this season. The Fish won the first seven matchups before dropping tonight’s contest. Toledo moves to 28-10-3 on the season, ending a four-game unbeaten in regulation streak.
The Walleye outshot the Fuel, 10-5, in the opening period, but the Fuel escaped with the edge in scoring. Darien Craighead put the Fuel on the board 8:37 into the first period, giving Indy a 1-0 lead. Seamus Malone and Ryan Zuhlsdorf picked up the assists on the score.
Indy’s Jordan Schneider picked up the only penalty of the period for tripping at 13:14, sending the Walleye to the power play for the first time. The Fish could not capitalize with the man advantage, going 0-for-1 on the power play in the first period. The period ended with Indy maintaining their 1-0 lead.
The second period closely mirrored the first, with Indy collecting a goal and penalty in the frame. Just past the midway point in the period, Riley McKay, assisted by Spencer Watson, found the back of the net to extend the Fuel lead to two goals. The goal was one of ten Indy shots in the period, while the Walleye took six shots in the middle frame.
With 17 seconds left in the period, Griff Jeszka picked up a high-sticking minor, putting Toledo on the power play for the remainder of the frame and the first 1:43 of the third period. The Fish could not find the back of the net early in the period, and the Fuel capitalized instead on an equal strength goal at 2:47. The goal came at the hands of Craighead, who found the back of the net for the second time to give the Fuel the 3-0 advantage. Seamus Malone picked up his second primary assist while Jan Mandát collected the secondary helper.
The Fish continued to look to get on the board, but their efforts proved futile as the period wound down. They eventually found themselves down a skater after Ryan Lowney was called for slashing at 16:24. Toledo’s penalty killers successfully kept the Fuel out of the net, leaving 1:36 of game time to avoid a shutout. Despite outshooting the Fuel, 12-10, in the period, the Walleye could not find the back of the net and suffered their first home shutout loss of the season, 3-0.
The Walleye edged the Fuel in shots on goal, 28-26, while neither team netted a power play goal in the contest. Toledo had two opportunities with the man advantage while Indy had one.
Michael Lackey earned the shutout victory for the Fuel, saving all 28 shots he faced in a full 60 minutes in net. Billy Christopoulos was credited with the loss for the Walleye. He saved 23-of-26 shots in 60 minutes.
After playing four games in five days, the Walleye have the next five days off before facing the Atlanta Gladiators for the only time this season on Saturday, Feb. 12. Puck drop from the Huntington Center is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
- Indy – Darien Craighead (two goals)
- Indy – Michael Lackey (shutout W, 28 saves)
- Indy – Seamus Malone (two assists)