TULSA, Okla. – The Toledo Walleye used a two-goal third period and 38 saves from Billy Christopoulos to pull away from the Tulsa Oilers, 3-1, on the road Sunday afternoon.
Brandon Schultz broke a scoreless tie late the second period, and Hayden Verbeek and Keeghan Howdeshell added goals in the third period as the Walleye earned their 20th road win of the season. The Fish are 39-16-1-2 on the season and remain in the Central Division lead.
Sunday’s contest started out the same way as Saturday’s as Toledo and Tulsa played a scoreless first period. The Walleye held the 8-6 shot advantage through the opening frame while Tulsa’s Eddie Matsushima collected the lone penalty for tripping. The Fish failed to convert with the man advantage, and the game remained scoreless with 20 minutes gone.
Tulsa got its first power play at the 6:21 mark in the second frame when Brett Boeing was called for interference. The Oilers could not find the back of the net on the power play, and the contest remained scoreless near the halfway mark.
The Walleye found themselves with a two-skater advantage after Carson Denomie and Jackson Leef were called for hooking at 12:41 and high-sticking at 13:28, respectively. With the 5-on-3 advantage, the Fish looked to find the back of the net for the first time in the contest. The Oilers successfully killed off both penalties to return to full strength at the 15:28 mark.
Three minutes later, Brandon Schultz broke the scoreless tie for the Walleye, scoring an equal strength goal at 18:52 to put the Walleye up, 1-0, near the end of the second period. Schultz’s 11th goal of the season was assisted by Gordi Myer and Randy Gazzola. The Fish skated into the final intermission with the lead.
The Walleye faced 20 Tulsa shots in the final frame as they looked to defend their slim lead. Despite only taking six shots in the final 20 minutes, the Walleye scored two goals while only surrendering one in the period.
Hayden Verbeek struck first at the 3:20 mark, scoring his second goal in a Walleye uniform as Brandon Schultz and Mitchell Heard assisted. 50 seconds later, Tulsa responded with a goal by Maxim Golod to trim the Toledo lead back to one. Jimmy Soper and Ryan DaSilva assisted on the lone Tulsa goal of the game.
At the 13:42 mark, Keeghan Howdeshell lit the lamp to give the Fish the 3-1 lead. The goal marked Howdeshell’s 11th of the season as TJ Hensick and Ian Parker collected the assists.
With 17:34 gone, the Oilers emptied their net to bring on a sixth skater as they looked to chip away at Toledo’s two-goal lead. The Fish held Tulsa to just two shots in the final 2:26 to lock up a 3-1 victory at BOK Center. The win evened the season series at one game each ahead of the final matchup tomorrow evening.
The Walleye were outshot, 39-24, in the contest, including 20-6 in the final frame. Neither team scored on the power play, with Toledo receiving three opportunities to Tulsa’s two.
Billy Christopoulos made 38 saves on 39 shots to earn the win in net for the Walleye. Daniel Mannella recorded the loss for the Oilers, saving 21-of-24 shots in 57:32 of ice time.
The Walleye and Oilers will face off for the final game of the season series tomorrow night in Tulsa. Puck drop from BOK Center is set for 8:05 p.m.
- Toledo – Billy Christopoulos (W, 38 saves)
- Toledo – Hayden Verbeek (game-winning goal)
- Tulsa – Maxim Golod (goal)