TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye fell to the Idaho Steelheads, 5-3, at the Huntington Center Sunday evening, snapping a three-game home win streak and falling one game short of a series sweep of the visitors in Toledo.
The Walleye and Steelheads were knotted at three with five minutes to play, but two late Idaho goals helped the Steelheads take the lead for good as time ticked away. The Walleye won two of three games against Idaho this weekend, outscoring the visitors by a 13-9 margin.
Toledo scored twice in just over a minute to take the lead in the first period. Brandon Hawkins found the back of the net from the top of the right circle at the 13:00 mark for his 21st goal of the season as Cole Fraser and Gordi Myer assisted. Ian Parker followed up with a goal of his own with 14:19 gone, his ninth of the season. Conlan Keenan and John Albert assisted as the Walleye took the 2-0 lead.
Yauheni Aksiantsiuk responded for the Steelheads at 17:44, cutting into the lead with his 18th goal of the season. Willie Knierim provided the assist on Idaho’s lone goal of the period. Idaho edged Toledo in shots in the opening period, 11-10.
The Steelheads used a 15-12 shot advantage and a power play to tie the game midway through the second period. Shawn McBride found the back of the net with 12:11 gone following a Cole Fraser hooking penalty to increase the Steelheads’ goal total to two. Colby McAuley and Will Cullen recorded the assists. Toledo was held scoreless in the frame, and the Walleye and Steelheads headed into the third period tied at two.
The Steelheads took their first lead of the game as McBride scored his second goal of the game at the 2:27 mark. Michael Prapavessis and Willie Knierim assisted on the goal to give Idaho the 3-2 advantage.
Just past the midway point in the period, Patrick Curry scored his third goal of the season to even the score at three. Mitchell Heard and Gordi Myer provided the helpers on the goal. Myer had two assists on the night.
Idaho scored two goals in quick fashion at the 15:38 and 18:40 marks to pull away from the Walleye for the win. Both of the goals came from A.J. White while Will Merchant provided both primary assists. Darren Brady also assisted on the first goal as the Steelheads secured the 5-3 victory to avoid the series sweep.
The Steelheads outshot the Walleye, 36-35, on the evening while Toledo held the 3-2 edge in power play opportunities. The lone conversion on the power play came on Idaho’s second goal of the game at the 12:11 mark in the second period.
Peter Thome earned the win in net for the Steelheads. He made 32 saves on 35 shots for the visitors. Kaden Fulcher was credited with the loss for the Walleye. He saved 31-of-36 shots in 59:26 of ice time for Toledo.
The Walleye will travel to Wichita for a Thursday night matchup with the Thunder. Puck drop from INTRUST Bank Arena is set for 8:05 p.m.
- Idaho – A.J. White (two goals)
- Idaho – Shawn McBride (two goals)
- Toledo – Patrick Curry (goal)