TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye fell the Wheeling Nailers 6-5 in a shootout on Wednesday afternoon at the Huntington Center.
The Toledo Walleye welcomed the Wheeling Nailers into the Huntington Center for their first matchup of the 2023-24 season.
Jan Bednar made the start in the net for the Fish. Will Cullen and Matt Anderson would lead the defense while Kirill Tyutyayev, Conlan Keenan and Colin Theisen manned the Toledo attack.
Michael McNiven defended the pipes for the Nailers. Isaac Belliveau, Justin Lee and Louie Roehl were the starting defenseman, while Matt Koopman and Raivis Ansons were the starting forwards for Wheeling.
Wheeling got the scoring started early when Ansons found the back of the net from Koopman at 3:37.
The Nailers came back with another goal at 4:39, this time by Tanner Laderoute with help from Dillon Hamaliuk and Jarrett Lee.
Toledo would get the first power play chance of the morning when Matthew Quercia was sent to the Wheeling box at 9:01 for Roughing.
The Walleye would get themselves on the board when Brandon Hawkins lasered one past McNiven for his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Jake Willets and Adrien Beraldo were the helping-hands on the score.
Theisen and Bobby Hampton were sent to their respective penalty boxes at 18:12 for Roughing, meaning there would be four-on-four hockey.
At 19:46, Trenton Bliss found paydirt to even the score at 2-2. Grant Gabriele and Riley McCourt added assists to the equalizer.
That would wrap the first 20 tied at 2-2. The Walleye outshot the Nailers 9-7 in the first period and Toledo was 0/1 on the power play in the period while Wheeling did not have an opportunity.
Toledo has handed the first penalty of the period at 1:47 when Sam Craggs was sent away for Slashing. The Walleye were able to kill off the power play.
Wheeling reclaimed the lead at 4:16 when Hampton found the net with help from Justin Lee and Thimo Nickl.
Wheeling would get another power play chance at 7:07 when Brandon Kruse was sent to the box for Tripping.
The Nailers would convert the power play at 8:34 when Lukas Svejkovsky put one past Bednar. Laderoute and Belliveau did the dishes to put Wheeling up 4-2.
The Nailers would get their third power play chance at 11:26 when Keenan was assessed a Tripping minor.
Wheeling would successfully convert the power play again, this time it was Hamaliuk at 11:42. Svejkovsky and Belliveau each assisted the score for their second points of the game.
The Walleye would get another power play chance at 14:19 when Felix Pare was assessed a Tripping minor. The Walleye were unable to convert the power play.
Theisen would find the back of the net for his first goal with Toledo at 18:27 Mitch Lewandowski and McCourt would assist the score. Lewandowski’s assist extended his assist streak to seven games.
That would round out the action in the second frame with Wheeling leading 5-3. The Walleye outshot the Nailers 21-11 in the period and 21-18 cumulatively. Toledo was 0/1 on the power play in the period while Wheeling was 2/3.
The third period action started with a Wheeling power play at 4:50 when Willets was sent away for an Illegal Check to the Head. Wheeling could not convert the power play.
Chase Gresock would bring it within one at 8:45 with help from Kruse and McCourt, making it 5-4.
The Walleye pulled Bednar off of the ice in favor of an extra skater in an attempt to tie the game.
That decision proved to pay off when Hawkins scored his second goal of the night to tie the game at 19:26. Cullen and Tyutyayev assisted the equalizing goal.
That would wrap the third period and send it to overtime. The Walleye outshot the Nailers 12-1 in the third frame. Toledo did not attempt a power play in the period, while Wheeling was 0/1.
In overtime, the Walleye would start the action with a power play after Hamaliuk was sent to the Wheeling box for Holding. The Walleye could not convert.
Then, Theisen would be sent to the Toledo box for Tripping, and then Wheeling could not convert.
That would wrap overtime and send the contest to a shootout.
The Walleye outshot the Nailers 3-2 in the period and both teams were 0/1 on the power play.
Hawkins would start the shootout for Toledo, missing his shot.
Belliveau would be the first shooter for Wheeling, having his shot blocked by Bednar.
Lewandowski would shoot next for Toledo, getting the puck between McNiven’s legs but could not get it into the net.
Svejkovsky would be next for Wheeling, and Bednar blocked his shot as well!
Orrin Centazzo would take the next shot for Toledo and his shot hit off of the crossbar and away.
David Jankowski would sneak his penalty shot past Bednar to secure the 6-5 shootout victory for Wheeling.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
- David Jankowski (GWG/SO) – WHL
- Brandon Hawkins (2G) – TOL
- Dillon Hamaliuk (1G, 1A) – WHL
The Toledo Walleye will remain home to close out the home stretch with the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday, November 17, 2023 with puck drop coming at 7:15 pm ET as the Walleye host Hockey Fights Cancer night.