TOLEDO, OHIO - Toledo netminder John Lethemon continued his six-game winning streak tonight with a 40-save shutout of the Wheeling Nailers on home ice.
Tonight marked the eighth of 11 games between Toledo and Wheeling this season. The Walleye entered the night with a 2-3-2 mark against the Nailers.
Toledo applied the pressure right out of the gate as they spent the majority of the opening minute of play in the Wheeling zone. Walleye forward Brandon Hawkins put Wheeling on an early power play with a face off violation at 1:01. Only one Nailers shot was allowed on the Toledo penalty kill. Two more penalties were assigned, matching roughing minors to Toledo's Cédric Lacroix and Wheeling's Jack Van Boekel, just over eight minutes later after the two got tied up in the Toledo zone.
Despite the Nailers having the 13-7 lead in shots with 3:32 remaining in period one, Drew Worrad got the Walleye on the board with a wrister through the five-hole of Wheeling's Brad Barone. At 19:09, Nailers defenseman Dilan Peters headed to the box for hooking to send the Walleye into period two on the power play.
Under five minutes into the middle frame, Gordie Green made it a 2-0 game with a back post finish on a flawless pass from Conlan Keenan. Defenseman Donovan Sebrango was the second assister on the insurance goal. The teams went 4-on-4 to open play back up after Conlan Keenan took it to Tyler Drevitch, who checked Gordie Green into the Wheeling net after his goal. Justin Addamo joined Drevitch in the Nailers penalty box 50 seconds later with a cross-checking minor to make it 4-on-3 in favor of Toledo for the next minute and ten seconds.
The physicality continued throughout the rest of the second period with a total of six penalties being assigned, three to each team. The first went to Wheeling's Gianluca Esteves for slashing at the 8:15 mark. Next was an interference minor to Gordie Green for a Nailers power play at 10:49. Less than a minute after leaving the Toledo box, Green made his way back as he and Cédric Desruisseaux exchanged words for matching minors. The final penalties went to Brandon Hawkins and Tyler Drevitch, matching roughing minors for a scuffle to the right of the Toledo net. The Walleye held onto their two-goal lead despite being outshot 27-18 after 40 minutes.
Wheeling piled up the shots to open the final third with eight in the first four minutes. Toledo got the only scoring action in the final 20 minutes, however, as Charlie Curti got the team's third with a missile of a shot off the faceoff at 18:47. Cédric Lacroix was the faceoff winner who picked up the lone assist. Under a minute later, Conlan Keenan secured an empty netter from the Toledo blue line to cap off the weekend. Contrary to the first two periods, no penalties came in the third until after the final whistle as Wheeling's Bobby Hampton received a game misconduct for abuse of the officials.
- The Walleye ended the first weekend of February picking up five of a possible six points.
- Toledo netminder John Lethemon secured his second shutout this season as he saved all of Wheeling's 40 shots tonight. His first came exactly two weeks ago in a 20-save game on the road in Iowa. The third-year pro has won each of his last seven appearances in the Walleye net.
- Gordie Green extended his five-game point streak with a goal. The first-year Toledo forward has totaled seven points (4G, 3A) in his last six appearances. He has also taken the lead for goals this season with 20.
- Drew Worrad picked up his second point in as many games with a goal.
- With a goal and an assist, Conlan Keenan secured his fourth multi-point game this season.
- Cédric Lacroix, the former Wheeling Nailer, registered his first multi-point game as a Walleye with two assists.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) TOL - J. Lethemon (40 SVS)
2) TOL - D. Worrad (1G)
3) TOL - C. Lacroix (2A)
The Walleye will see the Nailers again on Wednesday, this time in Wheeling at 7:10 p.m.