TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-2 on Saturday night at the Huntington Center.
The Toledo Walleye welcomed the Cincinnati Cyclones for Labatt Hockey Night in Toledo for the final time of 2023.
John Lethemon would make his return to the home net for the Walleye, with Michael Prapavessis and Will Cullen on the defence in front of him. Sam Craggs, Brandon Kruse and Darian Pilon would lead the Toledo attack.
Olof Lindbom would defend the pipes for the Cyclones. Reece Harsch and Jalen Smereck would man the defence while Justin Vaive, Zack Andrusiak and Tim Doherty would staff the Cincinnati attack.
The action would begin with a Cincinnati power play at :33 when Pilon was sent to the Toledo penalty box for High-Sticking.
Rather than the Cyclones converting the power play, the Walleye would break the ice with a shorthanded goal by Sam Craggs at 2:12, his third shorthanded goal of the season and 17th overall. Craggs’ third shorthanded goal ties four others for the most shorthanded goals in a season and moves him into an eight-way tie for second all-time with three. Mitch Lewandowski and Riley McCourt added assists to the icebreaker.
The Walleye would kill off the remainder of the power play.
The Cyclones would get their next power play chance at 8:23 when Pilon was sent back to the penalty box for Slashing. The Walleye would kill off the penalty again.
The Cyclones would knot the game at 1-1 when Andrusiak skipped one into the net at 12:20. Cole Fraser netted the solo assist.
That would wrap the first period action with the Walleye and the Cyclones ties 1-1.
The Walleye were outshot by the Cyclones 7-12 in the period. Toledo did not have a power play chance while Cincinnati was 0/2 in the period.
The second period action would begin with a Cincinnati power play after Kruse was sent to the Toledo penalty box for Tripping at :47. Toledo would fend off the power play.
The Cyclones would take a 2-1 lead at 8:05 after Lee Lapid found the net from Steven MacLean and Lincoln Griffin.
The Walleye would get their first power play chance at 11:08 when Vaive was sent to the Cyclones penalty box for Holding. The Cyclones would kill off the penalty.
Cincinnati would get another power play chance at 18:34 when McCourt was sent away for Tripping.
It would drop to four-on-four hockey for the closing seconds of the second frame as Alex Wideman was sent to the Cincinnati penalty box for Hooking at 19:53.
That would wrap the second period action with the Cyclones leading the Walleye 2-1.
The Walleye outshot the Cyclones 15-11 in the period but still trailed 22-23 cumulatively. Toledo was 0/1 on the power play in the period while Cincinnati was 0/2.
The third period action would begin with both carried over penalties being killed off.
The Walleye would get their next power play chance at 5:04 when Andrusiak was sent to the Cyclones penalty box for Cross-Checking.
The Walleye would convert the power play to tie the game back up at 2-2 when Kruse lit the lamp from Hawkins and Lethemon at 5:42.
Hawkins’ assist gave him an assist in eight consecutive games, the longest streak by a Walleye player this season, as well as his second nine-game point streak of the season.
The Walleye would get another power play chance at 10:04 when Josh Burnside was sent to the Cyclones penalty box for Tripping.
The power play would be cut short and dropped to four-on-four at 11:14 after Orrin Centazzo was sent to the Toledo penalty box for Roughing.
The Fish would find themselves in front after Adrien Beraldo found paydirt unassisted at 13:20. The score is Beraldo’s first since 2/19/2022 when he was a member of the Iowa Heartlanders.
The Fish would put the icing on the cake at 18:49 when Centazzo found the empty net from Hawkins and Jake Willets.
The horns would sound with the Walleye claiming a 4-2 come-from-behind win.
The Walleye outshot the Cyclones 18-2 in the period and 40-25 overall. Toledo was 1/3 on the power play in the period and 1/4 overall, while Cincinnati was 0/1 in the period and 0/5 overall.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
- Adrien Beraldo (GWG)
- John Lethemon (W, 23/25 SV)
- Brandon Kruse (1G)
The Toledo Walleye will head to Fort Wayne to visit the Komets to close out 2023 at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum with puck drop at 7:30 pm ET tomorrow, Sunday, December 31, 2023.