WHEELING, WV - Cédric Lacroix kept Toledo unbeaten in regulation for ten straight road games with a late game-winning goal in Wheeling tonight.
This Wednesday night tilt marked the ninth of eleven total between Toledo and Wheeling this season. The Walleye headed into the night with a 3-3-1-1 marker against the Nailers. Out of the four games they have played at WesBanco Arena this season, they have taken the split.
The first penalty of the night went to Toledo just under three minutes into the opening period as defenseman Adrien Beraldo headed to the box with a holding minor. 31 seconds later, Wheeling was awarded a penalty shot as Toledo's Donovan Sebrango was said to have covered the puck in the crease. Brooklyn Kalmikov took the shot for the Nailers but was stopped by Sebastian Cossa. Just ten seconds later, Trenton Bliss put Toledo on the board with a shorthanded goal.
Wheeling's first penalty came early in the sixth minute as Justin Addamo picked up a holding minor of his own. Another Toledo penalty, this time against Joseph Nardi for interference, came at the 12:19 mark. The Nailers capitalized on this man advantage as Brooklyn Kalmikov tied it up with 25 seconds remaining on the power play clock. One more penalty came in the first period, a hooking minor against Riley McCourt at 16:26, but the teams remained tied after a first period in which Wheeling doubled Toledo's eight shots.
With four and a half minutes gone in period two, Wheeling's Dilan Peters picked up an interference penalty to send the Walleye on their second power play of the game. Toledo wasted no time as Trenton Bliss reclaimed the Walleye lead with a goal just eight seconds later. Brandon Hawkins and Tirill Tyutyayev were the assisters on the power play goal.
Bliss' marker was the first in a period of two minutes during which the teams traded two apiece. Wheeling's Jordan Frasca restored the tie just 23 seconds later on an unassisted goal. Mitchell Heard responded 39 seconds later with the assistance of Kirill Tyutyayev and Riley McCourt. Only 40 more seconds passed before Carter Johnson matched Heard's goal to conclude the second period scoring.
Wheeling got a chance to take their first lead of the game at 11:20 as Mitchell Heard headed to the Toledo box with a roughing minor, but the Nailers were shut out on the Walleye penalty kill. Halfway through the 15th minute, Toledo defenseman Adrien Beraldo landed a hit on Wheeling's Hausinger. The gloves were quickly dropped between Beraldo and Carter Johnson, and the teams went 4-on-4 as both skaters headed to their respective boxes with matching fighting majors.
Just under two minutes later, Wheeling's Davis Bunz high-sticked Drew Worrad, joining Johnson in the box. Toledo carried their power play into the final period as they trailed Wheeling's 23 shots with 20 after two periods of play.
Nothing came of Toledo's remaining power play time in the opening minute of period three, but another Wheeling penalty, this time against Justin Addamo for boarding, put the Walleye back on the man advantage. The Wheeling penalty kill unit remained strong, allowing zero Toledo shots in the next two minutes. At the 9:12 mark, the teams went 4-on-4 once again after Toledo's Mitchell Heard and Wheeling's Davis Bunz got tied up with matching roughing minors.
It was beginning to look as though the game may be decided by extra time until late in the 16th minute when Brandon Hawkins sent the puck rink wide for Cédric Lacroix to chase it. As he beat two Wheeling defensemen to the end of the Nailers zone, Lacroix quickly flicked the puck toward Bailey Brkin for it to bounce into the back of the net and win the game. To make things worse for the Nailers, forward Cam Hausinger picked up two minors, one for unsportsmanlike conduct and the other for slashing, along with a game misconduct in the final minute.
- With tonight's win, the Walleye are now 8-0-2 in their last ten road games. The last time the Walleye went unbeaten in regulation for this long on the road was nine straight road wins in the 2014-15 season. Toledo's last road regulation loss this season was in Fort Wayne on December 28.
- After 60 minutes, the teams were tied with 28 shots apiece.
- With his 29th appearance in the Toledo net tonight, Sebastian Cossa made 25 saves on 28 shots to improve his record to 14-13-3 on the season.
- With the game-winning goal, Cédric Lacroix picked up his first as a Walleye.
- Trenton Bliss' two goals continued an impressive rookie campaign during which he has totaled 31 points (28G, 13A) in 28 appearances.
- Kirill Tyutyayev extended his three-game point streak tonight with two assists. The forward now has eight points (1G, 7A) in his last four games.
- With his goal tonight, Mitchell Heard has picked up a point in his last three games.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) TOL - C. Lacroix (1G)
2) TOL - T. Bliss (2G)
3) WHL - J. Frasca (1G)
Players Weekend kicks off Friday night at home as the Walleye host Kalamazoo for a 7:15 p.m. puck drop.