CINCINNATI, OHIO - Toledo ended the year picking up a point in a tough 4-3 overtime loss tonight in Cincinnati.
John Lethemon, who is currently riding a three-game winning streak, started in the Toledo net tonight. The Michigan native has appeared in one of four games between the teams this season. The home shootout win for the Walleye on December 3 added to an impressive 4-1-2 record for Lethemon. Beck Warm got the start in the Cincinnati net. The goaltender has seen Toledo two times this season, picking up a road win and a home loss.
Toledo's offensive pressure proved to be a threat early in the first period. On the fourth shot of the game, Mitchell Heard gave the Walleye an early lead late in the fourth minute. Sam Craggs, who secured his first multi-point game last night at home, picked up the first assist while Cole Fraser got the second. Cincinnati was able to get the equalizer just under two minutes later on a Matt McLeod goal, but Toledo wasn't done. Eleven seconds passed before Sam Craggs got his second point of the night in as many days with a quick finish on Beck Warm. The assisters were Conlan Keenan and Cole Fraser.
The first penalty of the night was a cross-checking minor against Cincinnati's Justin Vaive. One Walleye shot was recorded on the man advantage. Another penalty was assigned to the Cyclones late in the 16th minute for holding. 33 seconds into the Walleye power play, Brandon Hawkins, assisted by Riley McCourt and Trenton Bliss, made it a 3-1 game. This concluded the scoring action of the first period in which Toledo saw a 12-10 shot advantage.
The Walleye got their third chance on the power play early in the second minute of the middle period. Cincinnati improved on the defensive end as they allowed no shots on the Toledo man advantage. Gordi Myer was next to head to the box for the Walleye with a high-sticking call at 8:06. The Cyclones power play didn't last long as Louie Caporusso earned himself a tripping penalty 46 seconds later. The teams went 4-on-4 until the Walleye went back to full strength at 10:06 with a 46-second power play. The penalties only continued in the second with Cincinnati's Cody Caron receiving a hooking minor late in the 15th minute. To close out the second period, Chays Ruddy and Arvin Atwal were given matching roughing minors with 37 seconds remaining.
Cincinnati picked up on the offensive end in the third. With a Sam Craggs penalty at 3:30, the Cyclones went on the power play. Four Cincinnati shots were recorded on the man advantage. At 8:22, Josh Passolt cut Toledo's lead to one with an equal-strength goal. Several minutes later, Thomas Ebbing and Arvin Atwal dropped the gloves. Ebbing received a five-minute slashing major on top of the fighting penalty while Atwal got away with an extra two minutes for instigating. This resulted in a three-minute Cincinnati power play that was killed off by the Walleye.
With 1:16 remaining, Justin Vaive tied it up to send the game into overtime. Just under two minutes into the extra time, Zack Andrusiak sealed the deal to give Cincinnati the overtime win heading into the new year.
With 35 saves, John Lethemon hit a new season high with his previous one being 32 on December 11 against Fort Wayne at home. Sam Craggs earned his second multi-point game of the season with a goal and an assist to put him on a two-game point streak.
Toledo's first game of the new year takes place on Friday, January 6 at home against the Kalamazoo Wings. The teams will face off at 6:15 p.m.