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Late comeback falls short in preseason opening shootout loss

Friday, October 13th
Late comeback falls short in preseason opening shootout loss

TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye fell in a shootout loss to the Kalamazoo Wings 3-2 on Friday night at the Huntington Center.

What Happened:

The Walleye hosted Kalamazoo for the preseason opener at the Huntington Center as they prepare for the 2023-24 ECHL season.

John Lethemon started between the pipes for the Walleye. Riley McCourt and Grant Gabriele manned the defense while Brandon Hawkins, Trenton Bliss and Orrin Centazzo started up front.

Hunter Vorva began in the net for the Wings. Collin Saccomen and former Walleye Derek Daschke manned the Wings defense, while Collin Adams, Luke Morgan and David Keefer led the attack.

The Walleye ripped seven shots on the opposing net in the first 7:09 before Kalamazoo got into the action. That action was a fight between Hawkins for the Fish and Jay Keranen for the Wings. Keranen was assessed a roughing minor, while Hawkins was handed a double-minor, both for roughing. The Walleye would later begin their first power play of the season, after Connor Walters was sent to the box for kneeing, a two-minute minor at 11:26. Brandon Kruse would be assessed for a tripping minor at 17:52, giving the Wings a man-advantage for nearly the rest of the first period. The Walleye would successfully complete their second penalty kill to wrap up the opening period. The Walleye outshot the Wings 11-4 in the first 20 minutes. Neither team was able to convert a power play, as the Walleye were 0/1 and the Wings were 0/2 on power plays.

The second period would begin with Keefer being assessed a slashing minor, giving the Walleye their second power play opportunity. The puck would find the back of the net for the Walleye during a scuffle, but would be immediately waved off. Kirill Tyutyayev would put the Walleye ahead after smacking a rebound into the back of the net at 5:28. McCourt and Mitch Lewandowski would each gain an assist. Nico Blachman would be sent to the box with a roughing minor at 10:46, putting the Walleye in their third power play. The fish would however be unable to convert, moving to 0/3 on power plays. Keranen would be assessed a slashing minor at 19:38, giving the Walleye a man-advantage to finish out the period. The Wings, however, would put the equalizer past Lethemon with a short-handed goal at 19:58 by Morgan, assisted by Keefer. That would close the second period knotted at 1-1. The Walleye outshot the Wings 15-8 during the second period, for a cumulative 26-12 shot count. The Walleye were 0/3 on the power play during the second period, while the Wings did not have an opportunity on the man advantage.

The Walleye would begin the third period with 1:38 remaining on the power play. Trevor Babin would take over in the net for the Wings. The third period would be fairly quiet until Thomas Farrell was assessed a minor penalty for holding, giving the Wings their third power play of the contest. Adams would find the back of the net with a slapshot for Kalamazoo, putting the Wings up 2-1. Daschke was given the solo assist. That would be the first converted power play of the contest after a combined 0/6 to begin the game. Jordan Seyfert would head to the penalty box for the Wings at 15:38, giving the Walleye a fifth power play chance. The Walleye would need just 11 seconds before Centazzo pounded home the power play goal at 15:49 to knot the match at 2-2. Bliss and Tyutyayev would each garner an assist. That would wrap up the third period, sending the match to overtime. Toledo outshot Kalamazoo 6-5 in the final regulation period and 33-17 overall. Each team converted their lone power plays of the period.

Adams, Morgan and Nordqvist would start overtime for the Wings, while Hawkins, Bliss and McCourt would skate for the Walleye. An intense overtime period would end scoreless, sending the preseason opener to a shootout. The Wings outshot the Walleye 5-1 in overtime.

Brandon Saigeon would shoot first for the Wings. Deflected off the right leg pad of Lethemon, no goal.

Hawkins would shoot first for the Walleye. Upper-right corner for the goal! 1-0 Walleye.

Drake Pilon would be next for Kalamazoo. Off the post and in, 1-1.

Centazzo would have his shot deflect off the leg pad of Babin and away, still 1-1.

Justin Taylor with the third shot, saved by Lethemon!

Chase Gresock would shoot next for Toledo. His shot goes up and over, no goal.

Keefer next for the Wings. Up and over, no goal.

Tyutyayev for the Fish. Tried to cross him up, but to no avail, no goal.

Adams would shoot the fifth shot for Kalamazoo. Just slips it by Lethemon, 2-1 Wings.

Alexandre Doucet with the game on the line, wide left, no goal, game over. Wings win 3-2/SO.

Lethemon would take the shootout loss, saving 21 of 23 shots, and saving three of five shootout attempts.

Babin would claim the win in relief for the Wings, saving 10 of 11 shots and four of five shootout attempts.

What’s Next:

The Walleye will close out the preseason home-and-home with Kalamazoo at Wings Event Center on Saturday, October 14 with puck drop coming at 7:00 pm ET.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Wheeling Nailers
Toledo Walleye
Friday, November 1st
Wheeling Nailers @ Toledo Walleye
Puck Drops:
7:15 PM EDT
Huntington Center
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
at
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
Huntington Center
Cincinnati Cyclones
Toledo Walleye
Saturday, November 2nd
Cincinnati Cyclones @ Toledo Walleye
Puck Drops:
7:15 PM EDT
Huntington Center
Cincinnati Cyclones
CIN Cincinnati Cyclones
at
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
Huntington Center
Fort Wayne Komets
Toledo Walleye
Friday, November 8th
Fort Wayne Komets @ Toledo Walleye
Puck Drops:
7:15 PM EST
Huntington Center
Fort Wayne Komets
FW Fort Wayne Komets
at
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
Huntington Center

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