TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye got back in the win column in exciting fashion Wednesday night, pulling away from the Wheeling Nailers late to earn the 5-3 victory at the Huntington Center.
Matt Berry’s goal with 4:49 left in regulation put the Walleye ahead for good in a contest that remained tied for much of the game. TJ Hensick assisted on four of Toledo’s five goals as the Fish moved to 34-12-1-2 on the season.
The Nailers got on the board first in a back-and-forth first period, netting a power play goal at 3:40 after Keeghan Howdeshell was called for tripping. Sean Josling’s goal from the right circle, assisted by Sam Houde and Justin Almeida, put the Nailers up, 1-0, early in the game, and Wheeling held onto the lead for the next six minutes before Toledo responded.
At the 10:16 mark, Ryan Lowney found the back of the net off the rebound of a Brandon Hawkins shot to tie the game at one. Lowney’s second goal of the season was assisted by Hawkins and TJ Hensick.
Wheeling and Toledo scored 56 seconds apart from each other at 16:58 and 17:54, respectively, bringing the score to 2-2. Jared Cockrell netted the equal strength goal for the Nailers. Josh Maniscalco and Brandon Saigeon provided the assists. Then, at 17:13, Sam Houde picked up a tripping call, leading to Randy Gazzola’s power play goal for the Walleye. Hensick and Hawkins assisted, the second helper for each player in the period.
The Walleye outshot the Nailers, 14-7, as the two teams entered the first intermission with two goals each.
The second period scoring also started with a power play goal, but this time it was Toledo who took the lead early in the frame. Josh Maniscalco was called for delay of game at 4:53, and John Albert took advantage at the 5:40 mark to put the Fish up, 3-2. Matt Berry collected the primary assist while TJ Hensick’s secondary assist marked his third helper of the game.
Wheeling evened the score with just over five minutes to play in the middle frame as Jesse Lees found the back of the net with help from Tim Doherty and Cam Hausinger. Toledo held the 17-10 shot advantage in the period, but the Walleye and Nailers emerged at the end of the period tied once again, 3-3.
Toledo took control in the final period, scoring twice to secure a 5-3 victory. Matt Berry netted the game-winner at the 15:11 mark, is 14th goal of the season, as Gazzola and Hensick each collected an assist. Hensick finished with four helpers on the night.
Wheeling goaltender Louis-Philip Guindon vacated the Nailers’ net with 1:27 to play, and Brett Boeing lit the lamp with 22 seconds left on a diving shot that found the empty net. Conlan Keenan collected the assist as the Walleye got back in the win column.
The Walleye pummeled Wheeling with 42 shots on goal while the Nailers took 26. Toledo held the advantage in power plays, 5-4, and converted twice while the Wheeling scored once with the man advantage.
Kaden Fulcher earned the win in net for the Walleye, saving 23 of 26 shots in a full 60 minutes of ice time. Louis-Philip Guindon was credited with the loss for the Nailers. He saved 37 of 41 shots in 58:51 on the ice for Wheeling.
The Walleye continue their six-game homestand on Friday, welcoming the Fort Wayne Komets to Toledo for Pink in the Rink Night. Puck drop from the Huntington Center is set for 7:15 p.m.
- Toledo – Matt Berry (goal, assist)
- Toledo – TJ Hensick (four assists)
- Toledo – Randy Gazzola (power play goal, assist)