CINCINNATI, OHIO - The Walleye put up a fight tonight in Cincinnati as they matched two Cyclones goals midway through the second period. Cincinnati got three unanswered goals and Mitchell Heard put the Walleye within two with 18 seconds remaining to end the game on a 5-3 loss.
Tonight marked the second straight Thanksgiving Eve matchup between the Walleye and Cyclones in Cincinnati. The game made it to the third spot on the ECHL largest attendance list so far this season with 9,980.
The first power play of the game went to the Cyclones just one minute and 50 seconds in when Mitchell Heard was issued a tripping penalty. Sebastian Cossa got a block on Cincinnati's first shot of the game by Jalen Smereck.
Cossa, unable to get a hold of the puck, scrambled as Cincinnati crashed his net. Zack Andrusiak was in the right place at the right time as he got the puck with just enough time to set it up and and slot it between Cossa and the post.
The Cyclones added another just under two minutes later when Cincinnati's Louie Caporusso won the faceoff and Matt Berry passed the puck off to Arvin Atwal near the blue line. Atwal's shot was deflected by Caporusso in front of the Walleye net and went trickling through Cossa's legs.
Toledo gained some momentum after Cincinnati's second goal, registering five straight shots on Cyclones goaltender Mark Sinclair. Cincinnati went on their second power play of the game at the 10:40 mark when Kurt Gosselin hooked Lee Lapid.
The Cincinnati man advantage only lasted 32 seconds before Cody Caron headed to the box for high-sticking. Both penalties expired with no scoring action.
It was near the end of the 16th minute when Ryan Lowney earned his second goal of the season and put the Walleye on the board on a top shelf finish from the right faceoff dot. Thomas Ebbing and Gordie Green picked up the assists.
At 18:26, the Walleye got their third penalty of the period for a Simon Denis tripping call. Two Cyclones recorded shots in the remaining time, but Cossa picked up the saves to send Cincinnati into the beginning of the second with 26 seconds on the man advantage.
A Mitchell Heard shot off the post at the 2:31 mark of the second sent the game into a delay. After a lengthy review by the referees, it was determined that there was no goal.
Cincinnati's Josh Burnside received the first penalty of the second on a tripping call. Cyclones forward Phil Lagunov joined Burnside in the box at 5:34 to make it five on three for 17 seconds. Toledo was unable to register any shots on the power play.
Late in the 10th minute, Thomas Ebbing got the equalizer for Toledo. Gordie Green notched his second assist of the game and Joseph Nardi earned his eighth of the season on the goal.
At the 18:07 mark, Cincinnati's Patrick Polino gave the Walleye their third power play of the game on a tripping call. Lincoln Griffin put the Cyclones back in the lead seven seconds into the penalty kill on a breakaway goal.
After a close Cyclones scoring chance in the 19th minute, Lukas Craggs came from behind and hit Cincinnati's Lincoln Griffin as he battled for the puck along the boards. This called for a stoppage in play and and a swarm of players invaded the area.
The Cyclones got a power play out of the incident. Lukas Craggs was assessed a double minor for roughing and Brett McKenzie a single roughing minor. Cincinnati's Josh Burnside was also given a two-minute roughing minor. Cincinnati ended their second straight period on the power play.
Sebastian Cossa came up with several key saves for the Walleye to begin the third period as the Cyclones recorded four consecutive shots in the first 90 seconds.
The first penalties of the final period went to both teams as Mitchell Heard and Phil Lagunov headed to the box for roughing at the 3:37 mark. Cincinnati's Josh Passolt got the insurance goal for the Cyclones on a breakaway chance during the four-on-four period. Two penalties were assessed at the 13:54 mark. Former Walleye Matt Berry was assessed a hooking penalty and Brett McKenzie was called for holding.
At the 17:45 mark, Cincinnati forward Josh Passolt got his second of the night to put the Cyclones up 5-2. Walleye forward Mitchell Heard added one more with 18 seconds remaining to make it 5-3 in favor of the Cyclones. Lukas Craggs got the first assist and Joseph Nardi earned his second of the game and ninth of the season.
Gordie Green and Joseph Nardi both recorded two assists in tonight's game. Thomas Ebbing also had a two-point night with his second goal and third assist of the season. Mitchell Heard's lone third period goal put him in first for Walleye goals this season at four. The Walleye outshot the Cyclones 39-35 in the loss.
The Walleye return home on Friday, November 25, to host the Fort Wayne Komets at 7:15 p.m.