KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN - Three Walleye goals in the third period tonight gave the Walleye their second straight road victory by a score of 4-2.
Walleye rookie Sebastian Cossa earned his 23rd ECHL start in net tonight on the road. Earlier today, it was announced that he will be joining Toledo defenseman Gordi Myer at the ECHL All-Star Classic in Norfolk next week. For Kalamazoo, Hunter Vorva made his first appearance against Toledo this season in the K-Wings net.
Just 41 seconds into the opening period, Sebastian Cossa headed for the Toledo bench as a delayed penalty against Kalamazoo was signaled. At 1:05, the whistle blew and Tyler Rockwell headed to the box with an interference penalty. Both teams registered one shot apiece on the Wings penalty kill. Several Toledo scoring opportunities followed in the next eight minutes as the Walleye tallied six shots on Vorva.
On their fifth shot of the game, Kalamazoo got on the board first as Carson Focht netted a one-timer from Matheson Iacopelli. Just 25 seconds after the goal, former Bowling Green teammates Sam Craggs and Coale Norris were tangled up at ice level in the Kalamazoo zone. Matching roughing minors were assigned to each skater as a result. Five consecutive Toledo shots in the closing half of the first period added to a final shot count of 12, almost double the amount of Kalamazoo's seven.
Just 2:08 into the middle period, Gordie Green netted the game-tying goal as he banked the puck off Vorva from behind the net. Kirill Tyutyayev and Drew Worrad, the skaters from the AHL's Grand Rapids squad, picked up the assists. Toledo went on their third power play of the night at 7:25, 27 seconds after a delayed penalty against Kalamazoo's Carson Focht was signaled for tripping. The Wings penalty kill unit allowed no Walleye shots in the next two minutes. Another Toledo man advantage came at 10:39 after Darby Llewellyn sent the puck out of play. Brandon Hawkins and John Albert registered shots on the power play.
To conclude the second frame, Toledo defenseman Riley McCourt gave the Wings their second man advantage of the night following a hooking minor. With no Kalamazoo shots in the remaining 1:38, the Walleye more than tripled the Wings' four second period shots with 14.
The Wings got a chance to break the tie just over four minutes into the final third after a boarding call against Gordie Green. During the Kalamazoo power play, a shot from the blue line was tipped into the Toledo net by Justin Taylor. After review, it was determined that the goal was no good due to Taylor kicking it with his skate.
With 4:37 remaining, Walleye defenseman Charlie Curti netted a backhanded beauty, giving Toledo their first lead of the game. Trenton Bliss picked up the lone assist on the equal strength goal. At 17:41, Hunter Vorva left the Kalamazoo net for the extra skater, but Thomas Ebbing extended the Toledo lead on an empty-netter from the neutral zone 29 seconds later. Trenton Bliss got his second assist of the night with the helper.
At 18:26, Vorva headed for the Wings bench once again. Kalamazoo capitalized on this man advantage as Matheson Iacopelli, assisted by Brandon Saigeon and Chad Nychuk, scored to make it a one-goal game. Halfway through the final minute, the Wings' chances of coming back diminished as Justin Murray received a holding penalty. With just 3.8 seconds remaining, Kirill Tyutyayev carried the puck toward the empty Kalamazoo net. At the last second, he laid it off to Drew Worrad for empty-netter. Gordie Green was the second assister on the power play goal that secured the two-goal win for the Walleye.
- Drew Worrad notched his first multi-point game with a goal and an assist.
- Trenton Bliss extended his five-game point streak with two assists. He now has nine points (3G, 6A) in his last six games.
- After six points (5G, 1A) and the first hat trick of the season in three games last week, Gordie Green picked up his eighth multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist.
- In his eighth appearance with Toledo this season, Kirill Tyutyayev notched his fourth multi-point game with two assists.
- With the first of two empty-netters tonight, Thomas Ebbing now has five points (2G, 3A) in his last five games.
- Appearing in his fifth game with Toledo, Charlie Curti netted his first goal in a Walleye sweater in the third period.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) TOL - C. Curti (1G)
2) TOL - G. Green (1G, 1A)
3) KAL - H. Vorva (31 SVS)
The Walleye will conclude the weekend with two home games, the first taking place tomorrow against Fort Wayne at 7:15 p.m.