TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye concluded their season series with the Cincinnati Cyclones Sunday evening with a statement win at home, scoring the first seven goals en route to a 7-1 blowout at the Huntington Center.
Matt Berry and Conlan Keenan led the charge for the Fish, each scoring twice as the Walleye extended their win streak over the Cyclones to six straight games after dropping the series opener on Nov. 24. With the win, Toledo moves to 35-13-1-2 on the season, widening its lead over Fort Wayne in the Central Division standings to 11 points.
The Walleye and Cyclones skated to an even 7-7 shot margin in the opening period, but the Fish emerged with the 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. 14:45 after puck drop, Matt Berry found the back of the net on the power play to give the Walleye the lead as Randy Gazzola and TJ Hensick assisted. Berry increased his goal total to 15 on the season with the score.
With just 57 seconds left in the period, Ian Parker and Graeme Brown dropped the gloves near Kaden Fulcher and entered the penalty box for fighting. Just before the clock ran down, Brandon Hawkins added to the Walleye lead, converting on a two-on-one to put Toledo up by two. John Albert and Hensick assisted, sending the Walleye into the intermission on a high note.
The floodgates opened for the Walleye in a three-goal second period as Conlan Keenan led the charge with two goals. Keenan lit the lamp from the right circle with 5:06 gone, putting the Fish up, 3-0. Mitchell Heard and Matt Berry were credited with the assists.
In the middle of the period, Devon Paliani and Brandon Yeamans fought at center ice as the contest became increasingly chippy. Both players served five minutes in the penalty box, and Cincinnati soon found themselves down two skaters as Bair Gendunov and Jack Van Boekel were called for roughing and delay of game, respectively.
With just three seconds left in Van Boekel’s penalty, Mitchell Heard found the back of the net with help from Brandon Schultz and Ryan Lowney. The goal marked Heard’s tenth of the year as the Fish increased their lead to four.
50 seconds later, the Walleye lead ballooned to five as Conlan Keenan netted his second goal of the period. Keenan’s goal total increased to 12 this season as Connor Walter and Schultz assisted.
The Walleye scored twice more midway through the third period as John Albert and Matt Berry increased the Toledo lead to seven. Albert received a pass from Randy Gazzola and scored on the breakaway at the 10:54 for his team-leading 20th goal of the season. Keeghan Howdeshell collected the secondary assist.
Matt Berry scored for the second time on the evening with help from Chris Martenet and Mitchell Heard at 12:59. The seven-goal lead was Toledo’s largest of the game and would last until the 16:07 mark when Louie Caporusso scored Cincinnati’s lone goal. Jesse Schultz and Justin Vaive assisted on the Cyclones’ goal.
Toledo maintained the six-goal lead for the last four minutes to earn the 7-1 victory and secure a two-win week at the Huntington Center.
The Walleye outshot the Cyclones, 31-25, while also holding the advantage on the power play. Toledo went 2-for-4 with the man advantage while Cincinnati was held scoreless on their three opportunities.
Kaden Fulcher made 24-of-25 saves in a full 60 minutes for the Walleye to earn his ninth win in 13 starts this season. Michael Houser was credited with the loss for the Cyclones, making 14 saves on 19 shots in two periods of play. Angus Redmond relieved Houser at the start of the period and made 10-of-12 saves in 20 minutes of ice time.
The Walleye head to Wheeling on Wednesday for their first road matchup of the season with the Nailers. Puck drop from WesBanco Arena is set for 7:10 p.m.
- Toledo – Matt Berry (two goals, assist)
- Toledo – Conlan Keenan (two goals)
- Toledo – Mitchell Heard (power play goal, two assists)