TOLEDO, OH - In his North American professional debut, 20-year-old goaltender and Detroit Red Wings prospect Jan Bednar stopped 34 of Iowa's 37 shots in the 3-1 Walleye loss at home tonight.
Coming into the night with a 5-0-0 marking over the Heartlanders this season, the Walleye looked to sweep the season series with another win. Iowa came out hungry in the opening period as they doubled Toledo's seven shots. Despite this disadvantage, the Walleye held a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes thanks to Riley McCourt's early goal in the fourth minute from behind the Iowa net. Ty Enns, the forward out of Adrian College, picked up the first assist while Andrew Sturtz got the second.
Iowa dominated the second period, scoring two goals just 45 seconds apart to take their first lead over the Walleye all season. Tommy Parrottino and Marek Korencik earned the markers for the Heartlanders. The first penalty of the night came at the 6:56 mark as Iowa's Jake Durflinger took a high stick from Toledo defenseman Jake Willets. With the number one penalty kill in the league, the Walleye were able to kill off the penalty, allowing no Iowa shots in the process. Toledo got their turn on the power play with 55 seconds remaining in period two as Iowa's Jake Durflinger received a tripping minor. No scoring followed, but the teams were tied at 25 shots apiece heading into the third after the Walleye took the 18-11 advantage in the second.
The Walleye advantage carried over to the final period, but Toledo still trailed by one at the expiration of the Iowa penalty. Early in the eighth minute, Brandon Hawkins and Jake Durflinger headed to their respective boxes after a scuffle in the Iowa zone. Hawkins was assigned a roughing minor while Durflinger went for unsportsmanlike conduct. Just over two minutes after leaving the Iowa box, Durflinger added Iowa's insurance goal to make it a 3-1 game. Nolan Orzeck gave Toledo their second power play opportunity at the 10:33 mark, picking up a holding penalty. The Walleye struggled to find the back of the net, however, and took a home defeat after being outshot 37-33.
- After almost a month on a loan with the AHL's Colorado Eagles, Riley McCourt scored the lone goal tonight, his fifth of the season. With 19 assists, the defenseman has totaled 24 points in 34 games.
- In his first professional game, Ty Enns, the forward out of Adrian College, grabbed an assist.
Toledo's three-game weekend continues tomorrow as the Walleye host Indy at 7:15 p.m.