CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye held off a late surge from the Cincinnati Cyclones Wednesday night, earning their 30th victory of the season, 3-2, at Heritage Bank Center.
The Walleye led by three goals late in the third period before the Cyclones scored two quick goals to pull within one in the final minute of regulation. The Walleye held Cincinnati without a shot in the final 26 seconds to earn their fifth straight road victory dating back to Jan. 16. Three of those wins came against the Cyclones.
The Walleye emerged with the lead through one period on Mitchell Heard’s ninth goal of the season with 10:22 gone. The unassisted goal added to his 22 points this season in 25 games.
Quickly following the goal, the Walleye went on the power play on Lukas Craggs’ high-sticking minor at 10:53. The score remained 1-0 following the two-minute advantage as the Cyclones earned the penalty kill.
On the other end of the ice, Billy Christopoulos made 12 saves in the period to hold the Cyclones scoreless through one period. The Walleye took eleven shots of their own in the frame, converting once on Heard’s goal to enter the second period with the lead.
The Walleye and Cyclones combined for 12 shots in the second period, but neither team found the back of the net to keep the score at 1-0 for Toledo. Each team earned one power play opportunity in the frame, beginning with Toledo early in the period on Louie Caporusso’s boarding minor. The Fish did not convert on the power play while the Cyclones failed to score with the man advantage as the period closed following Conlan Keenan’s tripping penalty. The penalty marked Keenan’s first trip to the penalty box all season.
Toledo and Cincinnati combined for four goals in the third period with each team netting two. Toledo extended their 1-0 lead to 3-0 with two goals 2:05 apart in the middle of the period. Brett Boeing netted a power play goal in the closing seconds of Justin Bean’s penalty time for slashing for his 14th goal of the season. Mitchell Heard secured a multi-point night with the primary assist while Randy Gazzola earned the secondary assist.
Matt Berry extended the Walleye lead to three, scoring from the right circle off a pass from TJ Hensick at 11:36. Berry extended his point streak to eight games with the tally, his 11th goal of the season. Hensick reached the 45-point mark on the season with the helper while Gazzola picked up his second point of the period with another secondary assist.
The Walleye looked to close the game with a shutout, but Zack Andrusiak, assisted by Wyatt Ege and Justin Vaive, put the Cyclones on the board at the 17:35 mark to trim Toledo’s lead to two. With the Cyclones threatening, Angus Redmond emptied the Cincinnati net at 18:49 to bring on the extra skater. Vaive cut the Toledo lead down to one 45 seconds later, scoring with help from Matthew Cairns and Louie Caporusso.
The Walleye only led by one following Cincinnati’s second goal but ultimately prevailed as the defense prevented the Cyclones from taking another shot in the contest. The 3-2 win marked Toledo’s fourth straight win over the Cyclones.
Toledo and Cincinnati each took 29 shots on the night while the Walleye held the edge in power play opportunities, 3-2. The Fish converted once with the man advantage while Cincinnati could not find the back of the net on the power play.
Billy Christopoulos picked up the win for the Walleye, saving 27 of 29 shots in 60 minutes of ice time. Angus Redmond was credited with the loss for Cincinnati. He made 20 saves on 23 shots in 49:34 of play after relieving an injured Mat Robson in the first period.
The Walleye have the day off tomorrow before facing off against the Fort Wayne Komets on the road Friday night. Puck drop from Memorial Coliseum is set for 8 p.m.
- Toledo – Billy Christopoulos (W, 27 saves)
- Toledo – Brett Boeing (power play goal)
- Cincinnati – Zack Andrusiak (goal)