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Heard scores two as Walleye edge Fuel, 4-3

Sunday, April 3rd
Heard scores two as Walleye edge Fuel, 4-3

TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye extended their win streak to four games Saturday night, defeating the Indy Fuel, 4-3, at the Huntington Center.

Mitchell Heard led the Fish with two goals, including the game-winner early in the third period. The Walleye added to their ECHL-leading 44 wins to improve to 44-17-1-2 on the season.

The Walleye jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period behind goals from Mitchell Heard and Jesse Mychan. Heard scored at the 7:06 mark, receiving a pass from Matt Berry and beating Justin Kapelmaster to find a wide-open net. Gordi Myer added the secondary assist. Mychan scored his sixth goal of the season and first in a Toledo uniform at the 16:21 mark with Berry and Randy Gazzola assisting.

Indy responded with 1:31 remaining in the period with a goal of their own as Darien Craighead found the back of the net. Chad Yetman and C.J. Eick assisted on the equal strength goal as the Fuel cut into the Walleye lead. The Fish outshot the Fuel, 11-10, in the opening frame and carried a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

The second period saw another 2-1 score, this time in the favor of the Fuel. The Walleye scored at the midway point of the period as Ryan Lowney lit the lamp from the left circle. John Albert and Matt Berry assisted as the Fish went up, 3-1. 

90 seconds later, Darien Craighead responded, scoring for the second time on the night as Seamus Malone and Chad Yetman assisted. Yetman later found the back of the net to tie the game at 15:03. Kirill Chaika assisted.

As the second period wound down, Randy Gazzola and Cole Fraser picked up late penalties to put the Fuel on the power play for the remainder of the period. The Walleye returned to full strength at the start of the third period looking to break a 3-3 tie.

That tiebreaking goal came early for Toledo, with Mitchell Heard scoring his second goal of the game at the 1:25 mark. The goal, assisted by Mychan and Berry, was Heard’s 16th of the season, securing him his third game with multiple goals this season. Berry recorded his fourth assist of the game with the helper.

At 8:04, Christopher Cameron delivered a big hit to Matt Berry, resulting in a fight between Cameron and Mychan that sent both players to the box for fighting. Cameron also picked up an interference minor, putting the Walleye on the power play. The Fish could not convert with the man advantage, bringing the Fuel back to full strength before the Walleye went back on the power play at 11:31. Again, Indy killed off the penalty and looked to tie the contest with time ticking away.

With 1:11 remaining in regulation, Mitchell Heard was called for hooking, giving the Fuel a power play opportunity to help their push for a goal. Already up one skater, Indy brought on the sixth skater with 49 seconds remaining to attempt to tie the game. Zach Driscoll turned aside two Indy shots in the final 40 seconds to secure the 4-3 win for the Walleye, bringing the Toledo win streak to four games.

Indy took 41 shots on goal to Toledo’s 35 while also leading in power play opportunities, 4-3. Neither team scored with the man advantage in the contest.

Zach Driscoll earned the win in net for the Walleye, making 38 saves on 41 shots in his professional debut. Justin Kapelmaster recorded the loss for the Fuel. He saved 31-of-35 saves in the effort.

What’s Next:

The Walleye will conclude their six-game homestand Sunday evening when they face the Kalamazoo Wings. Puck drop from the Huntington Center is set for 5:15 p.m.

Three Stars:

  1. Toledo – Mitchell Heard (two goals)
  2. Toledo – Jesse Mychan (goal, assist)
  3. Toledo – Zach Driscoll (W, 38 saves)

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