TOLEDO, OH - Trailing by three halfway through the second period, Toledo rallied with four unanswered goals to split their home-and-home series with Kalamazoo.
It was an evening of celebration at the Huntington Center as the Walleye paid tribute to the Toledo Goaldiggers and their 40th anniversary of back-to-back Turner Cup championships in 1982 and 1983. Toledo swapped out the usual powder blue and gold for green and gold as they hosted Kalamazoo for the final time this season.
It was a penalty-filled first period tonight with each team picking up four apiece. The first went to Kalamazoo's Collin Saccoman for roughing at 1:20 with the next to Toledo captain John Albert at 3:56 for holding. The next two penalties came against Kalamazoo 35 seconds apart to put Toledo on the 5-on-3 man advantage. The second Walleye penalty, a hooking minor to Derek Daschke, came at 13:06 followed by matching roughing minors to Toledo's Brandon Hawkins and Kalamazoo's Connor Fedorek. The Wings got a 4-on-3 man advantage after another Toledo penalty at 18:04, but the first period concluded with nothing on the board.
In the opening half of period two, Kalamazoo took a 3-0 lead in just under five minutes thanks to goals from Ben Copeland, Coale Norris, and David Keefer. Kalamazoo's fifth penalty of the game went to Justin Murray for roughing at the 14:27 mark. With 14 ticks remaining on the Walleye power play, Brandon Hawkins found Charlie Curti in the slot for a deflection right past Kalamazoo netminder Drew DeRidder. Gordie Green tallied the second assist on the power play goal. Less than two minutes later, Riley McCourt cut Kalamazoo's lead to one with a one-timer from Derek Daschke and Sam Craggs.
Only 32 seconds into the final period, Brandon Hawkins made it a tie game with the assistance of Gordie Green and Riley McCourt. Andrew Sturtz put Toledo in front for the first time with a tip on Charlie Curti's blue line shot at 13:32. Gordie Green picked up his third assist of the night on the game-winner. Kalamazoo received the final penalty shortly after the Toledo goal, but no scoring followed and the Walleye came away with the 4-3 comeback win.
- With a final attendance of 8,300, Toledo continued to build on a franchise record with their 14th consecutive sellout.
- Jan Bednar picked up his first professional win in his second start for Toledo. The 20-year-old saved 23 of 26 Kalamazoo shots in the victory.
- Brandon Hawkins, Charlie Curti, and Riley McCourt each tallied a goal and an assist tonight. Hawkins currently rides a three-game point streak with a total of five points (2G, 3A) in those games.
- With three assists tonight, Gordie Green extended his point streak to five games. The forward has totaled eight points (1G, 7A) in those five games.
- After tallying the game-winner in last week's home win over Cincinnati, Andrew Sturtz did it again tonight with his 22nd goal of the season.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) TOL - A. Sturtz (1G)
2) TOL - B. Hawkins (1G, 1A)
3) TOL - G. Green (3A)
Toledo will host Fort Wayne tomorrow for their regular season finale at 5:15 p.m.