TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye defeated the Indy Fuel 5-3 on Saturday night at the Huntington Center.
The Toledo Walleye welcomed the Indy Fuel into the Huntington Center to close out Opening Weekend.
Jan Bednar would defend the net for the Walleye with Riley McCourt and Grant Gabriele on the defense. Brandon Hawkins, Trenton Bliss and Orrin Centazzo would lead the Toledo attack.
Mitchell Weeks would be in the net for Indy with Luke McInnis and Santino Centorame leading the defense. Andrew Bellant, Cameron Hillis and Jon Martin would man the Indy attack.
The game would begin with a long stretch of back-and-forth hockey between the two teams. The Walleye would earn the first power play chance of the game at 9:55 when Centorame was assessed a two-minute minor for “Holding the stick.”
The Fuel would strike first blood with a shorthanded goal at by Bellant at 11:34 with an assist from Darby Llewellyn making it 1-0 Indy.
Indy would find themselves with their first power play advantage when Darian Pilon played the puck while heading off, resulting in too many men. Pilon would head to the box to serve the penalty at 14:20.
Before the power play could be killed off, Adrien Beraldo took exception to a hit by Zach Jordan and a fight broke loose. However, only Beraldo would be assessed a penalty, being a five-minute major for fighting at 15:42.
That penalty dropped it to five-on-three hockey for :38 and then would leave Indy on the power play for the remainder of the period and into the second frame.
The Walleye penalty kill would kill off 4:18 of the Indy power play to close out the first period with Indy on top 1-0.
The Walleye were outshot by the Fuel 9-10 in the period. Toledo was 0/1 on the power play in the first 20, while Indy was also 0/1.
The second period began with the continuation of the Indy power play from the end of the first period, which the Walleye successfully killed off.
The first penalty of the second frame would be at 2:32 when Bellant was assessed a High-sticking minor.
Just :11 later at 2:43, Kirill Chaika was sent to the Indy box for high-sticking, dropping it to five-on-three for 1:49.
The Walleye would take advantage of the five-on-three as Hawkins lasered one past Weeks at 3:01 to knot the game at 1-1, Hawkins fourth goal of the season and third in two days. Centazzo and Kirill Tyutyayev collected assists on the equalizing power play goal.
The Fuel would reclaim the lead at 12:15 when Martin redirected a pass by Kyle Maksimovich into the net, putting Indy back up 2-1. Maksimovich and Hillis tallied assists on the score.
Indy would add onto their lead at 13:19 when Chaika would find the back of the net. Seamus Malone and Christopher Cameron would be the helping-hands on the score.
Darian Pilon would launch one past Weeks at 15:54 for his first professional goal to bring the Walleye back within one, with some help from Sam Craggs and Mitch Lewandowski.
Maksimovich would be sent to the Indy box for Hooking at 19:32, meaning the Walleye would finish the second period and begin the third period on the power play.
The second 20 would wrap with Indy leading Toledo 3-2 after both teams scored twice in the period. The Walleye outshot the Fuel 11-7 in the period and 20-17 overall after two periods. The Walleye were 1/2 on the power play in the period while Indy was 0/1.
The third period would begin with the Walleye on the power play, but the Fish were unable to convert.
Shortly thereafter, Conlan Keenan would find the net to tie it back up at 3-3 at 2:08. Will Cullen and Pilon would add assists to the score.
Cullen would be sent to the Toledo penalty box at 10:38 for Cross-Checking, giving Indy their third powerplay of the contest.
Craggs slid his way behind Weeks and put the puck in the net to give the Walleye a 4-3 lead at 13:36. Chase Gresock and Brandon Kruse did the dishes to put Toledo in front.
At 17:51, the Fuel pulled their goaltender to try to tie the game back up, instead it wound up being an unassisted empty netter by Gresock to put the Walleye up 5-3.
With that, the horns would sound, signaling a 5-3 Walleye victory!
The Walleye outshot the Fuel 12-6 in the period, and 32-23 overall. The Walleye were 0/1 on the power play in the third period and 1/4 overall, while the Fuel were 0/1 in the period and 0/3 overall.
Three Stars sponsored by Local 245:
- Sam Craggs (1G, 1A, GWG) - TOL
- Darian Pilon (1G, 1A) - TOL
- Conlan Keenan (1G) - TOL
The Walleye will hit the road and head to Fort Wayne on Friday, November 10, 2023, for a date with the Komets. Puck drop at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum will be at 8:00 pm ET.