TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye defeated the Kalamazoo Wings 4-3 on Friday night at the Huntington Center.
The Toledo Walleye welcomed the Kalamazoo Wings back into the Huntington Center to begin a home-and-home weekend series.
John Lethemon defended the home net for the Walleye. Matt Anderson and Michael Prapavessis manned the defence while Sam Craggs, Conlan Keenan and Brandon Kruse led the Toledo attack.
Jonathan Lemieux started between the pipes for the visiting Wings. Michael Joyaux and Collin Saccoman staffed the defence while David Keefer, Erik Bradford and Joshua Passolt filled out the Kalamazoo attack.
The action began with a Wings power play at :42 when Brandon Hawkins was assessed an early Tripping penalty.
Kalamazoo converted the power play at 2:02 when Collin Adams found the backside of the net. Ayden MacDonald and Jordan Seyfert assisted the icebreaker to put the Wings up 1-0.
The Wings scored another at 3:55 after a delayed penalty allowed them an extra man. Jay Keranen lit the lamp, with Adams and Seyfert adding assists for their second points of the night.
The Walleye found the score column at 13:51 when Craggs hit twine. Keenan and Kruse added assists to the tally. The assist marked the 100th point of Keenan’s professional career.
The Wings stretched their lead back to two at 3-1 at 14:36 when Bradford found the net. Passolt and Keefer assisted the score.
The Walleye got their first power play of the night at 17:49 when Keranen was sent to the Wings penalty box for Hooking. The Wings killed off the power play.
That wrapped the first period action with the Wings leading the Walleye 3-1.
The Walleye outshot the Wings 13-7 in the period. Toledo was 0/1 on the power play in the period, while Kalamazoo was 1/1.
The Walleye got a quick power play at 1:02 to begin the second period after Jacob Nordqvist was hit with a Delay of Game penalty for the Wings.
The Fish brought the deficit to one at 4:46 when Hawkins binned his team-leading 25th goal of the season unassisted.
The Walleye got their next power play chance at 9:34 when Mason Emoff was assessed a Tripping penalty. The Wings killed off the power play again.
That wrapped the second period action with the Walleye trailing the Wings 3-2.
The Walleye outshot the Wings 10-8 in the period and 23-15 cumulatively. Toledo was 0/2 on the power play in the period, while Kalamazoo did not have an opportunity.
The third period began with a Kalamazoo power play at 2:03 when Orrin Centazzo was handed a Tripping penalty. The Walleye killed off the power play.
The Walleye tied it up at 3-3 at 9:11 when Trenton Bliss found paydirt. Brendon Michaelian and Adrien Beraldo were the helping-hands on the equalizer. The assist by Michaelian netted him the first ECHL point of his career.
Toledo got their fourth man-advantage of the game at 9:41 when Bradford was hit with a Tripping penalty. Kalamazoo remained strong on the penalty kill by killing off another man-advantage.
The Fish pulled ahead for good at 18:42 when Keenan buried one past Lemieux to put the Walleye on top 4-3.
The horns sounded with the Walleye claiming a 4-3 victory over the Kalamazoo Wings.
The Walleye outshot the Wings 11-7 in the period and 34-22 overall. Both Toledo and Kalamazoo were 0/1 on the power play in the period. Toledo finished 0/4 on the power play while Kalamazoo finished 1/2 overall.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
- Conlan Keenan (1G, 1A; GWG) – TOL
- Trenton Bliss (1G) – TOL
- Sam Craggs (1G, 1A) – TOL
The Toledo Walleye will head North to finish the home-and-home weekend series with the Kalamazoo Wings tomorrow, Saturday, February 10, 2024, with puck drop coming at 7:00 pm ET at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, MI.