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Denis makes franchise history in ninth straight Walleye win

Sunday, February 26th
Denis makes franchise history in ninth straight Walleye win

TOLEDO, OHIO - The Walleye showed no signs of slowing down tonight as they shut out Wichita by a score of 5-0, claiming their ninth straight win.

What Happened:

The Walleye returned home tonight to host the Mountain Division Wichita Thunder for back-to-back games at the Huntington Center. The teams have only met five times before, with Toledo taking each of those matchups. 

The Toledo and Wichita squads spent most of period one figuring each other out. The first penalty went to Toledo's Kirill Tyutyayev early in the sixth minute for hooking. With a penalty kill under their belt, the Walleye took a one-goal lead in the 13th minute thanks to Tyutyayev. The marker came after Riley McCourt's blue line shot rebounded off Drew Worrad and landed at Tyutyayev's stick. 

Wichita went on their second power play of the night just two minutes later as Brett McKenzie headed to the Toledo box for high-sticking. The Thunder man advantage didn't last long as Quinn Preston went to his box 36 seconds later. Two more Toledo penalties came in the remainder of the opening period, the first being a cross-checking minor against Drew Worrad and the second to Brett McKenzie for hooking. The Thunder trailed Toledo by a count of 17-10 in shots after 20 minutes, but they began the second period with a 5-on-3 advantage.

The penalties continued well into the middle frame as Thomas Ebbing took Toledo's first for slashing at 8:01. Andrew Sturtz joined him just over a minute later as he and Wichita's Michal Stinil received matching slashing minors. 

With both teams back to full strength, Simon Denis added Toledo's second goal late in the 12th minute. After the faceoff was won by Drew Worrad, Conlan Keenan found Denis at the point for a one-timer past Wichita netminder Eric Dop. 

Denis' marker officially opened the floodgates for the Walleye, who netted two more in the next five minutes. At the 14:20 mark, Andrew Sturtz tipped a Gordie Green shot under the pad of Eric Dop and into the Wichita net for the three-goal lead. Defenseman Gordi Myer notched the second assist on the equal strength goal. 

Toledo got their second power play of the night just under two minutes later as Cole MacDonald headed to the Wichita box for sending the puck out of play. With 37 seconds remaining on the Walleye man advantage, a tic-tac-toe passing sequence between Brandon Hawkins, Kirill Tyutyayev, and Brett McKenzie resulted in a Toledo power play goal. Wichita matched Toledo's ten shots in the second period to remain trailing by a count of 27-20 after 40 minutes.

The first penalty of the final period went to Gordi Myer in the seventh minute for holding. Six minutes later, the extracurriculars returned. Toledo's Riley McCourt and Wichita's Michal Stinil received double roughing minors while Chays Ruddy headed for the Toledo locker room with a game misconduct. 

Three minutes later, Kelly Bent joined his teammate in the Wichita box for holding the stick of a Toledo skater. With 44 seconds remaining on the man advantage, Gordie Green netted the fifth and final goal. Kirill Tyutyayev and Brett McKenzie were the assisters on Toledo's second power play goal of the night. Shortly after, Wichita's Austin Crossley took the final penalty, a tripping minor at the 18:07 mark. The Walleye more than doubled Wichita's five shots with 12 in the third period to take the final shots advantage of 39-25. 

Speed Stats:

  • This was Toledo's ninth straight win, extending their February record to 10-0-0-1. 
  • John Lethemon secured his career-best 11th straight win and fourth shutout of the season with 25 saves tonight. All four of his shutouts have come in those last 11 appearances.
  • Toledo went 6/6 on the penalty kill for the second night in a row.
  • With his first goal of the season and 22nd of his career with Toledo, Simon Denis broke the franchise record for most goals by a Walleye defenseman. The previous record was held by JC Sawyer. Denis now holds the most points among defensemen in Toledo hockey history with 98. 
  • Rookie forward Kirill Tyutyayev picked up three points tonight with a goal and two assists. 
  • Brandon Hawkins (1A) and Gordie Green (1G) extended their point streaks to six games tonight. Hawkins has totaled 11 points (7G, 4A) in his last six appearances, while Green has notched ten (2G, 8A). 
  • Brett McKenzie extended his point streak to three games with a goal and an assist. He has tallied four points (2G, 2A) in his last three appearances. 

Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:

1) TOL - J. Lethemon (25 SVS)

2) TOL - K. Tyutyayev (1G, 2A)

3) TOL - S. Denis (1G)

Up Next:

Toledo's back-to-back home series with Wichita will close out tomorrow at 5:15 p.m.

Upcoming Home Games

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Friday, March 1st
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Her Hockey Day / Crossbody Bag Giveaway
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