NORFOLK, VA - The Walleye got themselves a well-deserved win on the road tonight as they dominated their first non-divisional opponent, the Norfolk Admirals, by a score of 5-2.
Tonight was the first of three games between Toledo and Norfolk this week. The last time the teams faced off against each other was exactly four years ago at the Huntington Center when the Walleye handed Norfolk a 7-4 defeat. Toledo came into the night with a 4-0-1 record over the Admirals.
The penalties got an early start tonight as Joseph Nardi headed to the box for Toledo on a tripping call just 34 seconds in. The Walleye penalty kill unit started on a strong note, allowing no Norfolk shots in the next two minutes. The Admirals got their shot at the penalty kill next as Sam Hu received a slashing penalty. They were successful, but Toledo went right back on the man advantage at 6:18 as a cross-checking call came against Norfolk's Danny Katic. With 40 seconds gone on the Walleye power play, Thomas Ebbing got a tip on an Eemil Viro shot from the blue line to put the Walleye up 1-0. Toledo captain John Albert registered the second assist.
Norfolk was quick to tie it up as Carson Musser, with the assistance of Cody Milan and Tag Bertuzzi, struck for the Admirals four minutes later. The Walleye got their third power play of the game at 16:41 as Norfolk's Brett Van Os headed to the box for boarding. Toledo registered six consecutive shots to conclude the first period, but Tomas Vomacka picked up the saves.
Norfolk got the first power play of the second as Brandon Hawkins received a boarding penalty 4:01 in. Toledo secured another penalty kill and went on to make it 2-1 thanks to a Drew Worrad goal assisted by Joseph Nardi and Donovan Sebrango. At the 12:33 mark, Ryan Lowney got a hooking penalty, but the Walleye penalty kill unit remained strong. Norfolk's Alex Pommerville got the final penalty of the second period at 16:06 for hooking. One Toledo shot was recorded on the man advantage, but the penalty expired and the score remained 2-1 heading into the third.
Joseph Nardi headed to the box first in the final period at 3:36 for tripping. Sebastian Cossa recorded three saves on the Walleye penalty kill. At 6:50, matching minors were given, Toledo's Eemil Viro for diving and Norfolk's Alex Pommerville for interference. The Walleye took advantage of the open space as Brandon Hawkins received a pass from Donovan Sebrango and sent it over the shoulder of Vomacka into the Norfolk net. Just 55 seconds later, Thomas Ebbing cleared the puck away from the boards in the Norfolk zone to Cole Fraser who backhanded it past Vomacka to make the score 4-1.
The Admirals built up the strength to get one goal back at the 11:58 mark. Danny Katic was the goalscorer with the assists credited to Eric Williams and Darick Louis-Jean. With 18 seconds remaining, Mitchell Heard added one more for the Walleye on an empty netter from Brett Boeing and Cole Fraser.
Toledo outshot Norfolk by a count of 28-20. With an assist on the first Walleye goal, captain John Albert extended his three-game point streak to four. Joseph Nardi's goal, his third of the year, took his two-game point streak to three. Cole Fraser notched his first multi-point game this year with a goal and an assist and both Donovan Sebrango (2A) and Drew Worrad (1G) earned their first points as Walleye to cap off a successful night for Toledo.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) TOL - T. Ebbing (1G, 1A)
2) TOL - E. Viro (2A)
3) TOL - D. Sebrango (2A)
The Walleye remain on the road in Norfolk throughout the rest of the week. Friday night's game will start at 7:05 while the puck drops an hour earlier on Saturday at 6:05.