BOISE, ID - The Walleye fell to Idaho, 3-0, in game two of the Western Conference Finals to head home trailing the series two games to none.
After falling 3-0 to the Steelheads in game one of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday night, the Walleye headed into game two looking to find the groove they carried on the road in the regular season and bounce back. In the opening ten minutes of play, Idaho more than doubled Toledo's six shots with 13, but the Walleye generated several key chances in the Steelheads zone. The first penalty of the game went to Idaho's Wade Murphy at the 14:49 mark for high-sticking. Toledo was unable to record a shot on the ensuing power play. Less than two minutes after leaving the Idaho box, Murphy rebounded his own shot to find the back of the Toledo net and make it 1-0. Walleye defenseman Riley McCourt picked up a hooking penalty at 18:34, but the Toledo penalty kill unit went to work in the remaining 1:26 of the period. After 20 minutes of play, the Steelheads took the 21-12 edge in the shot department.
After killing off McCourt's hooking penalty 34 seconds into the middle frame, Toledo went back on the penalty kill following an interference minor to Brandon Hawkins at the 8:47 mark. Midway through the 13th minute, Brett McKenzie and Cody Haiskanen received matching roughing minors to make it 4-on-4 for the next two minutes of play. As both penalties expired, Justin Ducharme made it 2-0 in favor of Idaho. After 40 minutes, the Steelheads led the shooting 32-20.
The Walleye had their work cut out for them heading into the third period. At the six-minute mark, Idaho's Ty Pelton-Byce made his way to the box with a tripping penalty, but Toledo was still unable to crack Steelheads netminder Adam Scheel. With just under four minutes remaining in the third period, Donovan Sebrango picked up an interference penalty to put Toledo on the penalty kill. Idaho capitalized with 15 seconds to spare on their man advantage to replicate the score of their win in game one the previous night.
- The Walleye outshot the Steelheads 13-6 in the final period, but Idaho took the final edge with 38 shots to Toledo's 33.
- John Lethemon recorded 35 saves in the Toledo net, just one below his postseason high of 36 set in game two of the Central Division Finals against Cincinnati.
The series turns to Toledo for game three on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m.