TOLEDO, Ohio – Brandon Hawkins capped off a three-goal hat trick with an overtime game-winner as the Toledo Walleye earned their first ever win against the Allen Americans, 6-5, Saturday night.
Hawkins added back-to-back goals second period goals to his game-winner, and Brett Boeing added two of his own as the Fish improved to 41-17-1-2 on the season. The Walleye also collected their 20th win on home ice to snap a two-game home losing streak.
The Walleye took 12 shots to Allen’s nine in the opening frame, but Allen came away with the lone goal at the 12:20 mark. Jack Combs found a wide-open net as Ryan Lohin and Kris Myllari assisted, putting the Americans up, 1-0.
Each team had one power play opportunity in the opening 20 minutes, and each team successfully earned a penalty kill. TJ Hensick was called for tripping at 9:37 while Nick Albano received a cross-checking penalty at 13:53. With neither team scoring on the power play, the Americans ended the period with the only goal, leading, 1-0, after 20 minutes.
The Walleye responded in big fashion in the second period, scoring four goals to take the lead late in the period. Brandon Hawkins found the back of the net at the 2:36 mark to tie the contest at one. John Albert and Connor Walters assisted on the goal.
With 5:19 gone, Cole Fraser and Jackson Leppard fought near the Toledo goal, sending both players to the penalty box for five minutes. Fraser was also handed a two-minute instigation penalty, leaving the Americans on the power play. Spencer Asuchak found the back of the net at 6:44 as Chad Costello and Kris Myllari assisted, and the Americans regained the lead.
That lead only lasted 20 second before Brandon Hawkins found the back of the net again to tie the contest at two. Hawkins increased his goal total to 23 on the season as John Albert and TJ Hensick assisted. Albert’s primary assist was his second of the game.
The last three minutes of the middle frame saw three goals scored between the two teams. Two of those came off the stick of Brett Boeing, who cut in front of the net and scored from the left side at the 17:04 mark and followed up with unassisted tally with 18:57 gone. Randy Gazzola provided the lone assist on the first goal while Boeing increased his goal total to 19 this season.
The Fish looked to take the 4-2 lead into the intermission, but Jackson Leppard found the back of the net with 32 seconds to play to bring the score to 4-3 in favor of the Walleye. Chad Butcher assisted on the equal strength goal, Leppard’s 17th of the season.
The Walleye increased their lead back to two at the 8:53 mark as Brandon Schultz netted his 12th goal of the season. Ryan Lowney and Conlan Keenan earned the assists to put the Walleye up, 5-3, with 11:07 to play in regulation.
With just under three minutes to play, Luke Peressini vacated the goal, and Allen brought on the extra skater to look to get on the board in the period. 15 seconds later, the Americans pulled within one of Toledo as Spencer Asuchak found the back of the net at 17:16, assisted by Chad Costello.
At the 17:45 mark, Allen brought on the extra skater once again as they searched for the game-tying goal, and Joshua Winquist found the back of the net at 17:55 as Branden Troock and Chad Butcher assisted. The Walleye and Americans ended regulation in a 5-5 tie, sending the contest to overtime.
The Walleye started the overtime period with Brandon Hawkins, TJ Hensick, and Randy Gazzola as their three skaters, and the contest ended with those same three players on the ice. The Fish took all three shots in the overtime period, with Brandon Hawkins connecting for the hat trick at the 3:49 mark to give the Walleye the 6-5 win. Hensick collected the primary assist while Gazzola earned the secondary helper.
The Walleye outshot the Americans, 42-29, including 17-8 in the second period. Allen went 1-for-3 on the power play while Toledo was scoreless in two opportunities with the man advantage.
Billy Christopoulos saved 24-of-29 shots in 63:49 of ice time en route to his 21st win of the season for the Walleye. Luke Peressini saved 36-of-42 shots in 63:16 for Allen in the loss.
The Walleye look to win the weekend series with Allen when they face the Americans for the final time tomorrow evening. Puck drop from the Huntington Center is set for 5:15 p.m.
- Toledo – Brandon Hawkins (three goals)
- Toledo – Brett Boeing (two goals)
- Allen – Spencer Asuchak (two goals)