TOLEDO, Ohio - The Walleye lost another home game in front of a sellout crowd tonight as the Kalamazoo Wings took the 3-1 victory and ran.
The game was the third of 14 total matchups that will occur between the teams this season. The Walleye now have an overtime win and two losses against the Wings.
The first penalty of the game came near the halfway mark of the opening period when Kalamazoo's Justin Taylor held up Brett McKenzie after the forward won a faceoff in Toledo's defensive zone. The Walleye recorded just one shot by Ryan Lowney on the man advantage, but it was picked up by Kalamazoo netminder Pavel Cajan.
At the 18:29 mark, John Albert became the first Walleye to serve a penalty tonight when he slashed the stick of Wings forward Max Humitz directly in front of the Walleye bench. Each team registered a shot on goal in the remaining 91 seconds of the period.
Kalamazoo had the first 29 seconds of the second period with the man advantage, but no shots were taken. Throughout the first half of the second, Sebastian Cossa made some key saves for the Fish to keep the game scoreless.
At 12:28 of the middle period, a Brett McKenzie wrist shot from the blue line was tipped past Cajan into the back of the net by Lukas Craggs to put the Fish up 1-0. The Walleye lead was snatched away from them just a few minutes later.
In an attempt to ice the puck at the 14:47 mark, Kurt Gosselin launched the puck high into the crowd to earn himself a delay of game minor. With 33 seconds left in the Kalamazoo power play, Wings forward Tyler Irvine took a shot that was originally stopped by Cossa's right pad, but managed to keep its momentum and trickle into the net as the goaltender struggled to locate the puck.
The second period concluded on a Walleye power play as Tyler Irvine was called for hooking at the 18:38 mark. Ryan Lowney and Gordie Green registered shots on Cajan before the period came to an end.
Cossa kept the Walleye within reach of a win throughout the beginning of the final period with several significant saves. Towards the end of the seventh minute, an attempt to clear the puck from the Walleye defensive zone was picked up along the boards by Coale Norris. The Kalamazoo forward quickly sent the puck backward to Brandon Saigeon who fired a one-timer from the blue line. Mason McCarty got a piece of Saigeon's shot and sent it over Cossa's shoulder to give Kalamazoo the lead.
Toledo's bad luck continued as Trenton Bliss headed to the box for tripping at the 10:26 mark. Thomas Ebbing joined Bliss in the box at 11:45 for a delay of game penalty. The Walleye allowed zero Kalamazoo shots during the 41-second five-on-three period. The remainder of Ebbing's penalty was killed off with only one shot by the Wings.
Still trailing by one in the final minutes of the third, the Walleye desperately looked for a way to get back in the game. To their misfortune, Kalamazoo's Max Humitz secured the win for the Wings on an empty netter with just over 30 seconds remaining.
Despite the Toledo loss, Cossa had another impressive night in goal with 27 saves. The Walleye finished with 31 shots to Kalamazoo's 30, but Cajan stayed consistent in net for the Wings.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) KAL - M. McCarty (1G, 1A)
2) KAL - P. Cajan (27 SV)
3) TOL - L. Craggs (1G)
The Walleye home schedule continues on Friday, November 18, as the Fish will host the Nailers at 7:15 p.m. for Military Appreciation Night.