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Two power play goals end in a Walleye overtime victory in Cincinnati

Thursday, January 12th
Two power play goals end in a Walleye overtime victory in Cincinnati

TOLEDO, OHIO - The Walleye capitalized on two power plays tonight to take a 2-1 overtime win on the road against the Cyclones. 

What Happened:

John Lethemon got his 12th season start and third against the Cyclones tonight at the Heritage Bank Center. Contrary to last Sunday's game between the teams, Cincinnati started Mark Sinclair in the Cyclones net. This was the goaltender's fourth appearance against the Walleye this season. 

With just two Toledo shots on the board, the Walleye got their first power play of the game 4:49 in as Ryan Lowney went down near the boards in the Toledo zone. The result was an elbowing minor against Cincinnati's Sean Allen. The Walleye were unable to register any shots on the man advantage, but the Cyclones picked up three.

Under two minutes later, Toledo got another man advantage, this time a 5-on-3 after Brandon Hawkins was taken down in front of his own bench. Three Cincinnati players picked up penalty minutes here, Kohen Olischefski for boarding, Cody Caron for tripping, and Arvin Atwal a misconduct. Just 45 seconds into the two-man advantage, Sam Craggs snuck the puck past Sinclair to put the Walleye on the board first. The goal came after a blocked Brandon Hawkins shot was picked up by Riley McCourt and sent back in front of the Cincinnati net.

Toledo carried their one-goal lead into the second despite picking up their first two penalties of the night in the 14th and 17th minutes. At 14:42, Charlie Curti received a tripping minor, and Sam Craggs picked up an interference minor at 17:17. The Cyclones almost doubled Toledo's seven shots in the opening period, but John Lethemon started the night strong with 13 saves. 

Toledo's lead was snatched away just under four minutes into the middle frame when Cincinnati forward Josh Passolt found Lee Lapid at the back post of the Toledo net for an equal strength goal. The Cyclones got their third man advantage eight minutes later after a slashing call against Joseph Nardi. Two Cincinnati power play shots were picked up by Lethemon. At 14:47, Josh Passolt headed to the Cincinnati penalty box after receiving a hooking minor. The penalty was killed off, but Toledo got another man advantage at 18:21 that was carried into the third. Despite the lone goal of the middle frame going to the Cyclones, the Walleye nearly tripled Cincinnati's four shots with 11.

Early in the final period, Cincinnati's Arvin Atwal landed a dangerous hit on Conlan Keenan. It was Tommy Parran for Toledo and Sean Allen for Cincinnati that got all tied up in defense of their teammates. As a result, both men headed to the box with five-minute majors. Allen, however, was joined by Atwal, who received an elbowing minor for the hit on Keenan. Cincinnati kept Toledo's shots at zero on the penalty kill. 

Halfway through the final period, the game remained tied at one. The Walleye were put to the test at 11:54 as John Albert was assigned a tripping penalty, but the Toledo penalty kill unit prevailed, and the score remained 1-1 after 60 minutes. 

With nearly two minutes gone in overtime, only one shot was on the board, and it went to Toledo. As he picked up the puck in the Walleye zone, Brandon Hawkins drew a tripping penalty against Cincinnati's Patrick Polino at the 1:57 mark. Just 31 seconds later, Riley McCourt and Brandon Hawkins exchanged the puck near the Cincinnati blue line. Hawkins then found Trenton Bliss at the top of the left circle, who let a wrist shot go to end the game in an overtime victory for Toledo.

Speed Stats:

  • With the #1 road penalty kill in the league, the Walleye continued their success tonight, allowing zero Cincinnati goals on their four power plays. 
  • Tonight was the third time this season that the Walleye and Cyclones have seen overtime against each other. Toledo is now 2-1 in those games, with the other win coming through a shootout. 
  • With an assist on both Toledo goals, Brandon Hawkins is now on a five-game point streak. He has totaled eight points (4G, 4A) in those last five games. 
  • With the game-winning goal in overtime, Trenton Bliss as also extended his point streak to five games. Similar to Hawkins, he has eight points in those five games, but in the form of three goals and five assists. 
  • Riley McCourt's two assists made tonight his first multi-point game as a Walleye. 

Three Stars Sponsored By Local 245:

1) TOL - T. Bliss (1G)

2) TOL - J. Lethemon (25 SVS)

3) TOL - S. Craggs - (1G)

Up Next:

The Walleye will play their second of four games this week on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Kalamazoo.

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