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Christopoulos shuts out Wings, Walleye reach 100 points

Saturday, April 16th
Christopoulos shuts out Wings, Walleye reach 100 points

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Billy Christopoulos put on a show for the Toledo Walleye with 39 saves Friday night as the Fish shut out the Kalamazoo Wings, 3-0, in the final road game of the regular season.

Jesse Mychan found the back of the net in the opening three minutes, and the Walleye never looked back, leading for the remainder of the contest despite 18 Kalamazoo shots on goal in the second period. With the win, the Walleye eclipsed the 100 point mark with a 48-19-2-2 record, including an ECHL-high 24 wins on the road.

The Walleye took the 1-0 lead just 2:55 after puck drop on a Jesse Mychan goal. Mychan was assisted by Matt Berry and Chris Martenet as he scored his seventh goal of the season.

Cole Fraser picked up the first penalty of the game with an interference minor at 5:47, sending the Wings to the power play. 1:10 into the power play, Matheson Iacopelli was called for the same offense to trigger 50 seconds of 4-on-4 hockey. The Walleye went on the power play after Fraser returned to the ice, and Kalamazoo killed off the penalty to keep the score 1-0.

Kalamazoo took 15 shots to Toledo’s 11 in the opening period, but the Walleye ultimately ended up with the only goal and entered the first intermission with the lead.

The Wings dominated the Walleye in the shot department in the middle frame, outshooting Toledo, 18-3. Kalamazoo also went on the power play after a Cole Fraser roughing minor at 10:03, but the Walleye prevented the Wings from scoring to stay ahead.

Despite the shot disadvantage, Billy Christopoulos stopped all 18 shots in the second period to help the Fish maintain a 1-0 lead. He combined for 33 saves in the first two periods to hold the Wings scoreless heading into the final intermission.

The Walleye maintained their one-goal advantage through the opening half of a third period that saw just six shots for each team. Two of Toledo’s shots found the back of the net as the Fish built on their lead to close out the Wings.

Mitchell Heard extended the lead to two with 16:46 gone, finding the top left corner of the net as Sam Craggs assisted. The goal marked Heard’s 20th tally of the season and Craggs’ first professional assist.

Looking to get on the board late, the Wings brought on the extra skater with 1:57 remaining. The Walleye kept the Wings out of the net, and Brandon Hawkins hit the empty net on the other end with eight seconds remaining to seal the victory for the Fish. Mitchell Heard and Matt Berry assisted on the goal, Hawkins’ 33rd of the season, as Toledo earned the 3-0 shutout win to complete its road schedule with a 24-10-1-1 record.

The Wings took 39 shots on net to Toledo’s 20 while also leading in power play opportunities, 4-3. Neither team scored on the man advantage over the course of the contest.

Billy Christopoulos earned his first shutout win of the season, saving a perfect 39-of-39 shots in net for the Walleye. Trevor Gorsuch recorded the loss for the Wings, making 17 saves on 19 shots in 58:11 of ice time.

What’s Next:

The Walleye will conclude the regular season in Toledo on Saturday night, facing the Kalamazoo Wings for the final time this season. Puck drop from the Huntington Center is set for 7:15 p.m.

Three Stars:

  1. Toledo – Billy Christopoulos (W, shutout, 39 saves)
  2. Toledo – Jesse Mychan (game-winning goal)
  3. Toledo – Mitchell Heard (goal, assist)

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