TOLEDO, OH - After going 50 minutes with no scoring and just two penalties, Brandon Hawkins netted a picture-perfect game-winner in Toledo's 1-0 shutout over the Nailers.
Tonight's Sunday night action concluded Toledo's annual Pink in the Rink weekend at the Huntington Center with the Wheeling Nailers in town for the last time in the regular season. The Walleye took each of their previous two games against the Nailers, heading into the night owning a 4-3-2 mark this season.
The Nailers got buzzing early with seven shots to Toledo's one in the opening three and a half minutes. This took a turn after the halfway mark of the period as the Walleye registered 13 shots to Wheeling's three in a first period that saw no penalties or scoring action, but several critical chances for both teams.
Halfway through the third minute of the middle frame, the first penalty call came against Wheeling's Sean Josling for high-sticking. This ended up being the lone power play of a second period that included significantly fewer shots than the first. After 40 minutes of play, the game remained scoreless with Toledo owning the 26-17 shots advantage.
Wheeling got their first power play opportunity just 1:33 into the final period as Toledo defenseman Chays Ruddy headed to the box with a kneeing minor. During a stretch of seven straight Walleye shots in a five-minute span, Brandon Hawkins scored the lone Toledo goal with a laser from the bottom of the right circle. Gordie Green and Riley McCourt were the assisters on the game-winner that continued Toledo's hot streak of 13 straight wins.
- Tonight's capacity crowd of 7,749 marked the 20th sellout of the season and 248th in Toledo Walleye hockey history.
- Not only was this the 13th straight Walleye win, but it was also the 15th straight that Toledo has gone unbeaten in regulation. Those 13 wins have the Walleye tied for the fifth-longest all-time ECHL winning streak.
- For the first time this season, the Walleye headed into the third period with no score on the board for either team.
- Sebastian Cossa earned his career-high seventh straight win in the Toledo net along with his fourth shutout of the season.
- Brandon Hawkins extended his point streak to ten games with the lone goal of the game. The team-leading forward now has 63 points (30G, 33A) in 51 games played this season and 17 (11G, 6A) in his last ten games.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) TOL - S. Cossa (23 SVS)
2) TOL - B. Hawkins (1G)
3) WHL - T. Nappier (33 SVS)
The Walleye will kick off their five-game road stint with their last contest against Wheeling on Wednesday at 10:45 a.m.