TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo Walleye scored four straight goals and held the Kalamazoo Wings scoreless for the final 58 minutes on Sunday evening, defeating the Wings, 4-1. Toledo’s win, coupled with Fort Wayne’s loss to Wheeling Sunday afternoon, allowed the Walleye to clinch the Central Division title with seven games remaining in the regular season.
Mitchell Heard concluded his strong weekend with two goals and an assist in tonight’s contest to finish the weekend with six points (5G, 1A). The Walleye extended their win streak to five straight games, concluding their six-game homestand with a 5-1-0 record.
The Wings came away with the lone goal of the period, which came just 77 seconds into the contest. Eric Kattelus found the back of the net for the first time this season from the blue line to give Kalamazoo the 1-0 lead. Matheson Iacopelli and Logan Lambdin assisted on the goal.
The Walleye outshot the Wings, 10-6, in the opening frame and earned a power play opportunity at the midpoint of the period after a Kalamazoo delay of game, but the Fish were unable to score with the man advantage and trailed by one at the close of the first period.
Toledo used a big second period to take the lead, scoring three goals in less than four minutes midway through the frame. Ryan Lowney scored the game-tying goal with 9:21 gone in the period, scoring from the blue line just in front of where Kattelus found the back of the net in the previous period. Quinn Preston and Mitchell Heard assisted Lowney on the goal.
At 11:02, Brandon Hawkins gave the Fish the lead with his 27th goal of the season. Brett Boeing and TJ Hensick assisted. Then, at 12:57, Mitchell Heard, assisted by Cole Fraser and Jesse Mychan, gave Toledo the two-goal lead with his 17th tally of the year.
Outshooting the Wings, 13-7, the Walleye also held the Wings scoreless in the middle frame to take the 3-1 lead into the final period.
That lead grew to three in period three as Mitchell Heard scored his second goal of the game at the 12:09 mark, deflecting Jesse Mychan’s shot into the net on the power play. Mychan collected his second assist of the night with the primary helper, and Ryan Lowney earned the secondary assist.
The Wings took 13 shots on goal in the final frame as they looked to get back in the contest, but Max Milosek kept Kalamazoo out of the net for the second shutout period of the game. The Fish went on to win, 4-1, to clinch the Central Division title.
The Walleye took 32 shots to Kalamazoo’s 26 and scored the lone power play goal of the game. The Fish had five opportunities with the man advantage while the Wings had one.
Max Milosek continued his hot streak in net for the Walleye, saving 25-of-26 shots to earn his fourth straight win. Trevor Gorsuch recorded the loss for the Wings, making 28 saves on 32 shots in a full 60 minutes of ice time.
Walleye Sign Reece Harsch
Prior to the game the Walleye signed defenseman Reece Harsch to a contract. The Grande Prairie, Alberta native just finished playing in five games for the Abbotsford Heat in the AHL with no points. That stint came on the heels of 15 games played at the University of Manitoba this year with 2 goals and 10 assists. The 23-year-old played four years in the WHL with Seattle, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg, appearing in 240 career games with 20 goals, 63 assists, and 125 penalty minutes. Harsch was a member of the Seattle team that won the WHL Championship.
The Walleye begin their final road trip of the regular season on Wednesday night, travelling to Fort Wayne for the first of two straight matchups with the Komets. Puck drop from Memorial Coliseum is set for 7:30 p.m.
- Toledo – Mitchell Heard (two goals, assist)
- Toledo – Ryan Lowney (goal, assist)
- Toledo – Jesse Mychan (two assists)