KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN - Three unanswered second period goals and a stellar goaltending performance from Sebastian Cossa gave Toledo their fifth straight win tonight on the road in Kalamazoo.
Tonight's contest began the second half of this season's matchups against Kalamazoo. Despite two power plays in the opening period, the Walleye trailed the Wings by one after 20 minutes. Kalamazoo's goal came early, just 2:20 in, as Matheson Iacopelli finished over the right shoulder of Toledo's Sebastian Cossa from the top of the left circle. Walleye forward Kirill Tyutyayev drew the first Kalamazoo penalty in the tenth minute as he was tripped by Anthony Collins in the Wings' zone. The second came at 14:48 after Carson Focht grabbed onto Toledo's Drew Worrad from behind to earn a holding penalty. The teams were tied up at nine shots apiece heading into the second.
With less than a minute gone in the middle period, Drew Worrad headed to the Toledo penalty box for a high-sticking double minor that sent a Kalamazoo skater to the ice. Just 24 seconds into the K-Wings power play, Max Humitz poked the puck into the backside of the Toledo net to make it a 2-0 game. Toledo got things going on their third power play after a slashing penalty against Kalamazoo's Darby Llewellyn. At 0:19 of the Walleye man advantage, Gordie Green deflected Kirill Tyutyayev's blue line shot past Kalamazoo's Hunter Vorva to get Toledo on the board. Brandon Hawkins registered the second assist on the power play goal.
Just under two minutes after Green's marker, Conlan Keenan deflected another Tyutyayev shot past Vorva to make it a tie game. Mitchell Heard was the playmaker with the pass to Tyutyayev from the right circle. With six more minutes gone, Keenan picked up his second of the night for the Walleye lead. The game winner came after Mitchell Heard traveled the length of the ice for a backhanded pass to Keenan, who got the one-timer. The Walleye finished three of their nine shots throughout the middle period while Cossa saved all of Kalamazoo's 11.
Kalamazoo entered the final period hungry for their lead back. At the 3:38 mark, Gordie Green sent the Wings on their third and final power play of the game with a slashing penalty. The Toledo road penalty kill unit, currently sitting first in the league, shut out the Wings shorthanded. Starting at 13:23, Sebastian Cossa faced eight straight Kalamazoo shots in three minutes, saving all of them. The Walleye were able to cling onto their one-goal lead to the end as Cossa saved all 17 Kalamazoo shots in the final period.
- With tonight's win, the Walleye now hold a seven-game winning streak on the road.
- Sebastian Cossa earned his 13th win in the Toledo net tonight with 35 saves. This is the third highest amount of saves he has registered in a game this season.
- Mitchell Heard extended his ten-game point streak with two assists. The forward has 18 points (5G, 13A) in his last 11 games, and he is now tied with Brandon Hawkins and Gordie Green for most points this season with 36.
- After registering his first professional hat trick on Sunday in Iowa, Conlan Keenan came close to doing it again tonight with two goals. The forward has picked up seven points (6G, 1A) in his last four games.
- Gordie Green added to his impressive January point record with the first goal tonight. The forward has totaled 16 points (11G, 5A) in 11 January contests.
- Forward Kirill Tyutyayev added two assists tonight for 12 total points (1G, 11A) in eight January games with Toledo.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) TOL - C. Keenan (2G)
2) TOL - K. Tyutyayev (2A)
3) TOL - S. Cossa (35 SVS)
The Walleye are back home for the first time in almost two weeks tomorrow night against Kalamazoo. Puck drop is set for 7:15 p.m.