TOLEDO, OH - Trailing 3-0 with just under five minutes remaining in the final period, John Albert opened the scoring and Andy Sturtz followed with two more to secure a point and eventually take the 4-3 defeat to the Fort Wayne Komets in overtime.
It was a battle for fifth place in the Central Division tonight at the Huntington Center as Fort Wayne made their second visit to Toledo this season. The first penalty of the game came against Indy's Joshua Winquist for tripping at the 4:25 mark. Three Toledo shots were registered on the man advantage, but former Walleye netminder Rylan Parenteau picked up the saves. Fort Wayne got their shot at the power play near the halfway mark of the period after a Kurt Gosselin slashing call. The Walleye allowed only a single Komets shot on the penalty kill. Luka Burzan was able to get the Komets on the board first at the 14:29 mark. Fort Wayne outshot Toledo by a count of 12-6 in the opening period.
Much of the second period was spent in the Toledo zone as the Walleye caught three penalties. The first went to Tommy Parran for hooking. The Walleye were able to kill the penalty with just one Fort Wayne shot allowed. Kurt Gosselin, who played in his first game back after a two-week stint, got his second penalty of the game at 12:51 for hooking. The Walleye secured their third penalty kill of the game, but the Komets went right back on the power play as Toledo received a bench minor for too many men. Fort Wayne doubled up on Toledo's six shots for the second period in a row, but the one-goal lead for the Komets remained after 40 minutes.
Toledo went on the first power play of the final period as Fort Wayne's Joe Masonius headed to the box for tripping. With a second remaining in the man advantage, another Komets penalty extended it, but Toledo was unable to find the back of the net as they did so easily the night before. At the 10:13 mark, Andy Sturtz received the final penalty of the game on a slashing call. On the third shot of the Komets man advantage, Joshua Winquist put Fort Wayne up by two on a power play goal.
Just over two minutes later, Tye Felhaber made it 3-0 for the Komets. As the clock wound down, Toledo had their work cut out for them. Walleye captain John Albert opened the floodgates just over a minute after Fort Wayne's third goal to get the Walleye on the board with 4:40 remaining. Joseph Nardi and Gordi Myer picked up the assists.
Andy Sturtz, the forward who just arrived in Toledo from Orlando this week, got the next two goals that sent the game into overtime. The first, assisted by Cole Fraser and Kurt Gosselin, came at the 17:08 mark. With only 21 seconds to go and the Walleye trailing 3-2, Andy Sturtz sent the Huntington Center into a frenzy as he connected with Joseph Nardi and Gordi Myer for the second time of the night, keeping Toledo's winning hopes alive.
There was a new intensity throughout the arena as the overtime period began. After a minute of play, each team had one shot apiece. On their second shot, Fort Wayne found the back of the net, but there was a mass of confusion on the ice and Walleye bench as everyone but the Komets suspected there was potential goalie interference moments before Fort Wayne's goal. The play remained a goal and the Walleye took a hard-fought loss to the Komets.
Andy Sturtz (2G), Gordi Myer (2A), and Joseph Nardi (2A) all picked up two points in the overtime loss. John Albert extended his two-game point streak to three with the first Walleye goal. John Lethemon set a new season-high with 32 saves.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) FW - A. Petruzzelli (1G, 1A)
2) TOL - A. Sturtz (2G)
3) FW - T. Felhaber (1G)
This week will be the first since the beginning of the season that the Walleye will not play a home game. Toledo will face their first non-divisional opponent this year, the Norfolk Admirals, three times on the road. The first game takes place on Wednesday, December 14, at 7:05 p.m.