TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye defeated the Fort Wayne Komets 4-0 on Friday night at the Huntington Center.
The Toledo Walleye began the 2024 portion of the season by welcoming the Fort Wayne Komets into the Huntington Center.
Jan Bednar defended the home net for the Walleye. Matt Anderson and Riley McCourt manned the defence while Sam Craggs, Conlan Keenan and new arrival Grant Loven led the Toledo attack.
Brett Brochu started between the pipes for the Komets. Martin Has and Xavier Bernard staffed the defence while Jack Dugan, Ethan Keppen and Ture Linden were on the attack for Fort Wayne.
The action began with a Toledo power play after Cameron Supryka was sent to the Fort Wayne penalty box for Interference at 9:57. Fort Wayne successfully killed off the power play.
That was all in a quiet first period with the Walleye and Komets scoreless after one.
The Walleye outshot the Komets 15-6 in the period. Toledo was 0/1 on the power play while Fort Wayne did not have an opportunity.
The second period action began with a Komets power play at 5:06 after Jake Willets was sent to the Walleye penalty box for Hooking.
There would be four-on-four hockey at 6:00 after Bernard was sent to the Komets penalty box for Tripping.
It dropped to four-on-three hockey for a long Walleye power play at 6:22 when Taylor Brierley was sent to the Komets penalty box for High-Sticking. The power play would be four-on-three for 45 seconds, five-on-three for 44 seconds and five-on-four for 22 seconds. All penalties were killed off.
The Walleye broke the ice at 8:28 when Brandon Hawkins lit the lamp to re-tie Craggs for the team-lead with his 18th goal of the season. McCourt and Orrin Centazzo added assists on the score.
The Fish extended the lead to 2-0 when Riley Sawchuk found the net unassisted at 11:29.
The Walleye added another goal at 16:00 when Anderson scored on the backside of the net to make it 3-0. Centazzo and Hawkins netted assists for their second points of the evening.
Toledo tacked on another goal at 17:31 when Craggs found the twine to reclaim the team-lead in goals with his 19th of the season. Keenan and Loven were the helping-hands on the score.
Fort Wayne got their next power play chance at 17:38 when Anderson was sent to the Toledo penalty box for Interference. Toledo killed off the man-advantage.
That wrapped the action in the second frame with the Walleye leading the Komets 4-0.
The Walleye outshot the Komets 16-16 in the period and 31-21 cumulatively. Both Toledo and Fort Wayne were 0/2 on the power play in the period.
The third period action began with a Walleye power play at 6:49 after Matt Wedman was sent to the Komets penalty box for Tripping. The Komets killed off the power play.
The horns sounded, signaling a 4-0 Walleye win over the Komets.
The Walleye outshot the Komets 13-8 in the period and 44-29 overall. Toledo was 0/1 on the power play in the period and 0/4 overall, while Fort Wayne did not have a chance in the period and was 0/2 overall.
Bednar recorded his first professional shutout in the victory for the Walleye.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
- Jan Bednar (W, 29/29 SV, 1st Professional Shutout) – TOL
- Brandon Hawkins (1G, 1A) – TOL
- Orrin Centazzo (2A) – TOL
The Toledo Walleye will head South to start a home-and-home series with the Cincinnati Cyclones at the Heritage Bank Center tomorrow, January 6, 2024, with puck drop coming at 7:50 pm ET.