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Heard registers two points in 4-3 home loss to Indy

Saturday, November 19th
Heard registers two points in 4-3 home loss to Indy

TOLEDO, OHIO - Toledo suffered yet another home loss tonight in front of their third sellout crowd. There was an electric energy throughout the Huntington Center as Toledo headed into the first intermission with the 2-1 lead. The Walleye eventually crumbled and gave up three unanswered goals in the second half of the contest to lose, 4-3, to the Indy Fuel.

This Saturday night matchup marked the first against the Fuel this season. Toledo holds an all-time record of 38-9-6 against Indy and concluded the 2021-22 season winning all but one of eight contests between the clubs. 

The opening period was like a breath of fresh air for everyone in attendance as the Walleye finished on two of their eight shots. The lone penalty of the period came against Cole Fraser on an interference call at 4:25. 

Mitchell Heard opened up the scoring late in the ninth minute. Upon receiving a pass from John Albert between the top of the circles, Heard fired a wrist shot past Indy's Zach Driscoll. Interestingly enough, Driscoll made his pro debut with the Walleye last year against Indy.

As the 18th minute ensued, Indy pinged the puck around as they approached the Walleye net. Cliff Watson got the first Fuel goal tonight as he sent the puck over Cossa's right pad on the one-timer from Jan Mandát and Seamus Malone. 

Toledo was quick to snatch the lead back as Joseph Nardi found Gordie Green who connected a pass to Thomas Ebbing. The Walleye forward beat Indy's Seamus Malone and earned his first goal of the season off the backhand just 31 seconds after Indy's equalizer. This concluded an exciting first period at the Huntington Center. 

Indy's Andrew Perrott received the first penalty of the second on a holding call. Green and Lowney recorded one shot each on the man advantage. 

Conlan Keenan extended the Walleye lead to two early in the eighth minute of the second as he tipped a Simon Denis shot from the point past Driscoll. Mitchell Heard earned his second point of the game as he tallied the second assist. 

Indy's Christopher Cameron received a holding minor at 11:09. No Walleye shots were recorded on the power play. The Fuel went on their second power play of the game at 14:28 when Sam Craggs headed to the box for a tripping penalty. Just under a minute into the man advantage, a Jan Mandát shot from the left circle ended up in the back of the Toledo net to cut the Walleye lead to one. 

Indy managed to tie the game back up toward the end of the second. In 26 seconds, the Fuel registered five straight shots on Cossa. The Indy pressure proved to be too much for the Walleye defense after Andrew Bellant got the equalizer for the Fuel at 18:55 of the second. With his second penalty of the game, Andrew Perrott gave the Walleye the man advantage with 50 seconds remaining in the middle period.

It was beginning to look as though the game might head to extra time until the 15th minute of the final period when Indy's Nate Pionk picked up a failed Walleye clear to bury the game-winner. 

In the third straight Walleye loss, Keenan and Ebbing notched their first goals of the season, Denis earned an assist in his 250th pro game and Heard registered two points with a goal and an assist. Toledo had a 30-22 edge in shots, but Driscoll remained consistent for the Fuel with 27 saves. Cossa recorded 18 saves in the defeat. 

Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:

1) IND - N. Pionk (1G)

2) IND - J. Mandát (1G, 1A)

3) TOL - M. Heard (1G, 1A)

Up Next: 

The Walleye will travel to Cincinnati for a Thanksgiving Eve matchup on Wednesday, November 23. The game is set to start at 7:35 p.m.

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