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Walleye Kruse past Nailers to open December

Friday, December 1st
Walleye Kruse past Nailers to open December

WHEELING, WV – The Toledo Walleye defeated the Wheeling Nailers 3-2 on Friday night at WesBanco Arena.

What Happened:

The Toledo Walleye hit the road and headed to Wheeling, WV to open December against the Wheeling Nailers.

Jan Bednar would start between the pipes for the Walleye. Matt Anderson and Will Cullen would lead the defense while Sam Craggs, Conlan Keenan and Kirill Tyutyayev would start on the attack for Toledo.

Taylor Gauthier would defend the net for the Nailers. Thimo Nickl and Isaac Belliveau would man the defense while Jordan Frasca, Dillon Hamaliuk and Lukas Svejkovsky would staff the Wheeling attack.

Wheeling got on the board first at 6:19 when Matt Koopman found the net with help from Nickl and Jarrett Lee.

The Nailers would have the first power play chance of the game at 11:09 when Tyutyayev was sent to the Toledo penalty box for High-Sticking. The Walleye would succeed in their first penalty kill of the evening.

The Fish would earn their first man-advantage at 14:26 when Davis Bunz was sent to the Wheeling box for Slashing. The Nailers would successfully kill off the power play.

Toledo would have a second power play chance at 17:01 when David Drake was assessed an Interference minor. Wheeling would kill off the power play again.

The Walleye would get yet another power play chance at 19:40 to close the first period when David Jankowski was sent away for High-Sticking. The man-advantage would carry over to the second period.

That would wrap the action from the first 20 minutes with Wheeling ahead of Toledo 1-0. Toledo outshot Wheeling 7-4 in the period. The Walleye were 0/2 on completed power plays in the period while the Nailers were 0/1.

The second period action would begin with the Walleye converting the carried over power play. Brandon Kruse would knot the score at 1-1. Mitch Lewandowski and Brandon Hawkins collected the assists, extending their point streaks each to five games.

Kruse and the Fish would come right back down for a second goal at 2:30, this time putting the Walleye ahead 2-1. Chase Gresock and Alexandre Doucet nabbed assists on the score.

The Walleye would add on again, this time being Doucet who found the net courtesy of passes from Trenton Bliss and Hawkins at 8:51. Hawkins picked up his second point of the night to be tied with Kruse for most in the game.

Wheeling would cut the lead to one at 9:30 when Koopman found the net for his second goal of the night. This time it would be Jankowski and Drake that did the dishes for Koopman.

The Nailers would get an extended power play at 10:30 when Adrien Beraldo was assessed a High-Sticking double minor, giving Wheeling four minutes with a man-advantage.

That would be cut short as Nickl would be sent to the Wheeling box at 12:17 for Interference.

Then, Anderson would be assessed a Holding minor at 14:07. All penalties would be killed off after a number of different on-ice staffing scenarios.

Matthew Quercia would be sent to the Wheeling box at 18:10 for Tripping. This meant that for the second period in a row, the Walleye would begin the following period on the power play.

That would wrap the action from the second 20 minutes with the Walleye leading the Nailers 3-2. Toledo outshot Wheeling 15-10 in the period and 22-14 cumulatively. The Walleye were 1/1 on power plays completed in the period while Wheeling was 0/3.

The third period action would begin with a Wheeling power play when Riley McCourt was assessed an Interference minor at 9:35.

That would be the lone notable action as the third frame would draw to a close with the Toledo Walleye taking a 3-2 victory over the Wheeling Nailers.

Toledo would outshoot Wheeling 10-3 in the period and 32-17 overall. The Walleye did not have a power play chance in the period and were 1/4 overall, while the Nailers were 0/1 in the period and 0/5 overall.

Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:

  1. Brandon Kruse (2G) – TOL
  2. Matt Koopman (2G) – WHL
  3. Alexandre Doucet (1G, GWG) - TOL

What’s Next:

The Toledo Walleye will head home to host the first of back-to-back games against the Iowa Heartlanders at the Huntington Center tomorrow, December 2, 2023. Puck drop will be at 7:15 pm ET as the Walleye will hold Glow Weekend.

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