INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Trailing by one with just under seven minutes left in the third period, the Walleye rallied to score three goals and secure a 5-3 victory for the series sweep over Indy.
The first penalty of the night went to Toledo's Donovan Sebrango for tripping at the 4:26 mark. With less than a minute remaining on the Fuel power play, Indy found the back of the Toledo net, but the goal was later waved off after review. Just 12 seconds later, Sam Craggs poked the puck away from an Indy's Kyle Maksimovich at the Fuel blue line to take it into the offensive zone and score shorthanded. Rookie defenseman Derek Daschke picked up his first professional playoff point with the lone assist.
Just under two minutes later at the 8:14 mark, Chase Lang struck for the Fuel to even the score. Two penalties followed, a hooking minor to Toledo at 10:29 and a tripping minor to Indy at 14:50, but both teams were able to kill them off. Early in the 17th minute, Colin Bilek lasered the puck over the shoulder of John Lethemon to give Indy their first lead of the night, but Brandon Hawkins responded a minute later with a one-timer from Gordie Green and Trenton Bliss. With 39 seconds remaining in the opening period, Toledo's Andrew Sturtz and Indy's Chase Lang received matching roughing minors.
The 4-on-4 action between the teams persisted for the first minute and twenty-one seconds of the second period. Seconds after the game's halfway mark, Gordi Myer headed to the Toledo box with a hooking minor. The penalty was killed off with no Indy shots allowed, but the Fuel took back the lead at 13:36 thanks to a goal from Alex Wideman. With 30 seconds left in the middle period, Seth Barton was assigned a delay of game penalty to send Indy into the third period on the power play.
Only one penalty came in the final period, an interference minor to Indy at 9:57. Three minutes later, the floodgates opened for Toledo as Kirill Tyutyayev and Gordie Green restored the tie on an odd man rush. Only two minutes passed before Brandon Hawkins picked up the game-winner with a carbon copy of his first goal earlier in the opening period. With 35 seconds on the clock, TJ Hensick backhanded the puck into an empty Indy net to seal the deal for Toledo.
- Toledo scored first in all four games of their series against Indy.
- After only scoring a total of four shorthanded goals in the regular season, the Walleye have picked up two of them in back-to-back playoff games. Andrew Sturtz did it in game three on Tuesday night while Sam Craggs did it tonight.
- Trenton Bliss added two assists to extend his playoff point total to seven (3G, 4A). The rookie forward has led the team in points throughout the opening playoff round.
- In the last two games, Gordie Green has picked up four assists, three of them coming tonight.
- Brandon Hawkins tallied two goals tonight to bring his playoff point total to five (3G, 2A).
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) TOL - B. Hawkins (2G)
2) TOL - G. Green (3A)
3) TOL - K. Tyutyayev (1G)
Toledo is set to enter round two, where they will go up against the winner of the Cincinnati and Fort Wayne series. The Cyclones are presently leading 2-1, with game four scheduled for Friday night in Fort Wayne. If Cincinnati prevails, the Walleye and Cyclones will battle it out in game one on May 5th in Cincinnati.