TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye fell to the Norfolk Admirals 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday night at the Huntington Center.
The Toledo Walleye welcomed back the Norfolk Admirals for game two of three on Labatt Hockey Night in Toledo.
John Lethemon defended the home net for the Walleye. Riley McCourt and Grant Gabriele manned the defence while Brandon Hawkins, Trenton Bliss and Orrin Centazzo led the Toledo attack.
Yaniv Perets started between the pipes for the visiting Admirals. Simon Kubicek and Connor Fedorek staffed the defence while Denis Smirnov, Stepan Timofeyev and Brady Fleurent filled out the Norfolk attack.
The action began with a Norfolk power play at 8:57 after Hawkins was sent to the Toledo penalty box for Cross-Checking.
During the Admirals power play, McCourt and Timofeyev exchanged Roughing penalties at 9:25. The infractions offset, leaving the game at five-on-four.
All penalties were killed off.
The two teams exchanged Roughing penalties again at 17:45, this time being Centazzo and Fedorek, dropping the game to four-on-four hockey. Both penalties were killed off.
That wrapped a physical first frame with the Walleye and the Admirals scoreless.
The Walleye were outshot by the Admirals 10-12 in the period. Toledo did not have a power play chance in the period, while Norfolk was 0/1.
The second period action began with the first Walleye power play of the game at 1:15 after Keegan Iverson was assessed a Hooking minor.
The power play increased to five-on-three at 1:59 after Josh McDougall was called for Delay of Game. Both penalties were killed off successfully by the Admirals.
The Fish found the net first at 6:44 as Alexandre Doucet found an open net to start the scoring. Riley Sawchuk and Chase Gresock were the helping-hands on the icebreaker.
After lots of physicality and tension, there were gloves dropped at 14:23. Darian Pilon and Darick Louis-Jean exchanged blows for Toledo and Norfolk respectively, with Pilon coming out on top. Both were assessed five-minute majors for Fighting from the bout.
The Admirals got their next power play at 14:56 when Sam Craggs was sent to the Walleye penalty box for Roughing.
The power play was cut short and dropped to four-on-four when Aaron Miller was caught Slashing at 15:39. Both penalties were killed off.
That wrapped the action from the second frame with the Walleye leading the Admirals 1-0.
The Walleye outshot the Admirals 12-7 in the period and 22-19 cumulatively. Toledo was 0/3 on the power play in the period, while Norfolk was 0/1.
The third period action was back-and-forth with physicality. The first notable action was a Norfolk power play at 10:46 when Adrien Beraldo was assessed a Holding minor at 10:46. Toledo killed off the power play successfully.
The Admirals got their next power play at 16:39 when Sawchuk was hit with a High-Sticking penalty.
Before the penalty was killed off, Matt Anderson was called for Delay of Game at 18:01, giving 38 seconds of five-on-three.
The Admirals converted the five-on-three at 18:33 when Carson Musser found the net to tie the game at 1-1. Gehrett Sargis and Smirnov assisted the equalizer.
The Walleye virtually killed off the remainder of Anderson’s penalty as there was one second left to send it to overtime with the Walleye and the Admirals tied 1-1.
The Walleye were outshot 6-16 in the period and 28-35 overall. Toledo did not have a power play in the period while Norfolk was 1/2 on power plays completed in the period.
Overtime began with the last second of the Norfolk power play being killed off.
After an extremely back-and-forth overtime, the two teams remained tied at 1-1, sending the game to the second shootout in as many days.
The Walleye were outshot 4-10 in the period and 32-45 cumulatively. Toledo did not have a power play in the period while Norfolk was 0/1.
Musser shot first in the shootout for the Admirals and was denied by Lethemon.
Craggs started the Walleye half of the shootout and was kept out by the right pad of Perets.
Timofeyev found the net to put Norfolk on the board in the shootout.
Brandon Kruse shot next for the Fish and was unable to flip it past a diving Perets.
Smirnov put the puck into the top corner to seal the deal for Norfolk taking the shootout 2-0 and the game 2-1.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
- John Lethemon (44 SV)
- Stepan Timofeyev (GWG/SO)
- Alexandre Doucet (1G)
The Toledo Walleye will remain at home to close out the three-game weekend series against the Norfolk Admirals tomorrow, Sunday, February 4, 2024, with puck drop coming at 5:15 pm ET.