TOLEDO, Ohio - Despite Hawkins giving Toledo the early lead, Cincinnati rang up three unanswered goals to spoil Toledo's home opener.
Toledo got off to a quick start as Brandon Hawkins registered the first shot of the game at the 19-second mark. Cincinnati's Beck Warm came up with the quick glove save.
Halfway through the second minute, an attempt by the Cyclones to clear the puck from their defensive zone ricocheted off the stick of Sean Allen, landing on Hawkin's stick. With a perfectly placed wrist shot, the forward earned his second goal of the season to put the Walleye up 1-0 at the 1:30 mark.
It didn't take long for Cincinnati to match Toledo's intensity. In minute twelve, Cincinnati forward Patrick Polino possessed the puck at the left circle and pushed through a pair of Walleye defenders to get a shot attempt. Mitchell Heard was able to poke the puck away with his stick, but Josh Passolt was right there to receive it and put one past Cossa to tie the game.
After 20, the score remained tied at 1-1. Cincinnati had the shooting advantage with eleven to Toledo's seven.
The Cyclones carried over the momentum from their game-tying goal into the second period. Early in the sixth minute of the second, Cyclones forward Josh Passolt picked up the puck after a scrum in front of his team's net and made a break for the opposite side of the ice.
Passolt worked his way towards the attacking zone, managing to beat two Walleye defenders and sneak one past Cossa from the left circle.
Despite some hard hits and exchanged words in the latter half of the second, there were still no power play opportunities for either team after 40 minutes of play.
The final period began similarly to the way the previous one ended. Shots were sparse, but both goaltenders continued to be put to the test.
At the 5:58 mark, the first penalty of the game was given to Cincinnati's Jalen Smereck for roughing. The Cyclones managed to kill off the penalty without letting the Walleye get even a single shot on net.
At the 14:30 mark, Toledo received their first penalty of the game when Lukas Craggs was sent to the box for a two-minute slashing minor. Toledo allowed zero Cincinnati shots on the penalty kill.
As time dwindled, the Walleye scrambled to keep themselves in the game. At the 18:17 mark, Cossa headed to Toledo's bench for the man advantage. The Fish juggled the puck around in the attacking zone until the whistle blew in anticipation for a Toledo penalty.
With a minute remaining in regulation, Hawkins headed to the box for an illegal check to the head of Matthew Cairns. 33 seconds later, Louie Caporusso gave the Cyclones a two-goal lead on the power play.
Toledo went into the next puck drop on the power play as Cincinnati defenseman Arvin Atwal was called for unsportsmanlike conduct just before the Cyclones goal. The Walleye remained unlucky, suffering a 3-1 loss to the undefeated Cincinnati squad.
Rookie goaltender Sebastian Cossa wrapped up his home debut with a total of 18 saves. Brandon Hawkins concluded the weekend with a two-game point streak thanks to his unassisted first period goal tonight. The Walleye came up short as the Cyclones outshot them 21-18.
There were a total of 8,380 attendees in the 7,431-capacity Huntington Center for tonight's home opener.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) CIN - Passolt (2G)
2) CIN - Polino (1A)
3) TOL - Hawkins (1G)
The Walleye will host Wheeling on Wednesday, November 9, for a 10:35 a.m. faceoff.