CINCINNATI, OH - Tied at two with five minutes gone in the final period, Cincinnati picked up a five-minute major which allowed Toledo to score four unanswered goals and take game one by a dominating score of 6-2.
After sweeping Indy in round one of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, the Walleye had a week to recuperate before kicking off round two against Cincinnati tonight. The well-rested Toledo squad got after it quickly in game one as Gordie Green received the puck in the neutral zone and danced around two Cyclones defenders to put the Walleye ahead just 15 seconds in. Forward Brandon Hawkins and defenseman Eemil Viro picked up the assists on Green's early marker.
After the 12-minute mark, Cincinnati forward Adam Berg made it a tie game. Three minutes later, Toledo's Riley McCourt and Cincinnati's Andrew Nielsen picked up matching roughing minors to make it 4-on-4. Another penalty, this time against Cincinnati for high-sticking, gave Toledo the 4-on-3 man advantage. Less than 30 seconds later, Trenton Bliss rebounded a shot from Kirill Tyutyayev to reclaim the Toledo lead. Brandon Hawkins grabbed the second assist on the power play goal.
The only action to follow in the second period was a slashing penalty to Toledo's Andrew Sturtz at the 19:35 mark. After 40 minutes of play, the 2-1 Walleye lead remained as Toledo outshot Cincinnati by a count of 25-11.
Just under five minutes into the third period, Andrew Nielsen came up big for the Cyclones as he restored the tie at two goals apiece. Halfway through the sixth minute, Cincinnati defenseman Sean Allen sent Charlie Curti to the ice after a hit from behind. The result was a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct to Allen. In the next three minutes, the Walleye capitalized on the power play with four goals. The first two came a minute and 32 seconds apart; Brandon Hawkins started things off and Gordie Green followed. Seth Barton assisted on both goals with Hawkins and Kirill Tyutyayev picking up the other helpers.
At the 9:26 mark, Cincinnati was assigned a tripping penalty, putting Toledo on the 5-on-3 man advantage. Just four seconds later, Kirill Tyutyayev netted a one-timer from Trenton Bliss and Brandon Hawkins to make it 5-2 in favor of the Walleye. Bliss grabbed a goal of his own 41 seconds later to cap off Toledo's scoring. Seth Barton and Gordie Green each tallied their third assist of the night on the power play goal.
The penalties kept coming for the Cyclones late into the final period. Toledo went on their seventh power play of the night after a roughing minor to Zach Berzolla at 15:44. At 19:02, Zack Andrusiak put the Walleye on the power play to finish the game with a cross-checking penalty and the addition of a misconduct. After three periods, Toledo came away with a dominating 6-2 win coupled with a 37-17 advantage in shots.
- Toledo registered a total of 20 more shots on goal than Cincinnati.
- Sebastian Cossa saved 15 of 17 Cincinnati shots to claim his third straight playoff win and remain undefeated in the postseason.
- Trenton Bliss picked up an impressive three points (2G, 1A) to extend his playoff point total to ten (5G, 5A). The rookie forward has picked up at least a point in each of the five postseason games he has appeared in.
- With a goal and two assists tonight, Kirill Tyutyayev has brought his postseason point total to eight (2G, 6A). Six of those (2G, 4A) have come in his last three games.
- Brandon Hawkins added a goal and four assists tonight to bring his playoff point total to ten (4G, 6A).
- Gordie Green's two goals and single assist increased his postseason point total to eight (3G, 5A).
- Seth Barton, currently leading all Toledo defensemen in playoff points, added three assists tonight to give him seven points (1G, 6A) in five games.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
1) TOL - G. Green (2G)
2) TOL - T. Bliss (2G, 2A)
3) TOL - B. Hawkins (1G, 2A)
The Walleye return to Heritage Bank Center tomorrow for game two of the series at 7:35 p.m.