TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye fell to the Norfolk Admirals 4-3 in a shootout on Friday night at the Huntington Center.
The Toledo Walleye welcomed in a new face in the Norfolk Admirals to begin a three-game weekend series at the Huntington Center.
Jan Bednar 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.
Kristian Stead started between the pipes for the Admirals. Carson Musser and Josh McDougall staffed the defence while Danny Katic, Keegan Iverson and Brandon Osmundson filled out the Norfolk attack.
The Admirals struck first at 2:24 when Iverson found the net. Denis Smirnov and Connor Fedorek assisted the icebreaker.
Norfolk got their first power play chance at 5:03 when Kruse was sent to the Toledo penalty box for Tripping.
The Admirals needed just 14 seconds to convert the power play as Smirnov lit the lamp at 5:17. Katic and Musser assisted the score.
The Walleye got their first power play chance at 11:20 when Aaron Miller was sent to the Admirals penalty box for Tripping.
The Walleye power play was cut short as Orrin Centazzo was assessed a Tripping penalty of his own at 12:05, providing 1:15 of four-on-four hockey. All penalties were killed off.
Norfolk got their third man-advantage of the evening at 15:30 when Bednar was assessed a Tripping penalty during a play in-front of the net. Alexandre Doucet served the two minutes for the Fish. Toledo killed off the penalty successfully.
That wrapped the first period action with the Walleye trailing the Admirals 2-0.
The Walleye were outshot 5-13 in the period. Toledo was 0/1 on the power play in the period, while Norfolk was 1/3.
The second frame began with a Walleye power play at 1:45 when Andrew McLean was sent to the Admirals penalty box for Tripping. The Admirals killed off the penalty.
Norfolk stretched the lead to 3-0 at 5:08 when Brady Fleurent corralled the puck into the net. Keaton Jameson and Darick Louis-Jean added assists on the tally.
Adrien Beraldo and Iverson dropped the gloves at 5:39, exchanging five-minute majors for Fighting, and each getting a two-minute minor. Beraldo was assessed two minutes for Instigating, served by Carson Denomie as Beraldo went to the locker room, and Iverson was handed two minutes for Interference.
The penalties would result in two minutes of four-on-four hockey, which wound up fruitless for both sides.
Norfolk got their fourth power play of the game at 14:25 when Kruse was hit with a High-Sticking penalty. Toledo killed off the penalty.
That wrapped the second period with the Walleye trailing the Admirals 3-0.
The Walleye were outshot 8-14 in the period and 13-27 cumulatively. Both teams were 0/1 on the power play in the period.
The Fish got on the scoreboard at 1:17 when Brandon Hawkins sniped a goal to make it 3-1 Norfolk. Centazzo and Grant Gabriele assisted the score.
The Admirals got their next power play chance at 2:03 when Beraldo returned to the penalty box for Slashing.
Just nine seconds into the power play, Katic was assessed a Cross-Checking penalty at 2:12, evening it to four-on-four hockey before a very short Walleye power play.
Another Norfolk penalty gave Toledo a four-on-three advantage at 3:57 as Simon Kubicek was sent to the Norfolk penalty box.
The Walleye returned to full strength at 4:03 and scored at 4:04 on a five-on-three man-advantage as Riley McCourt lit the lamp. Centazzo and Trenton Bliss assisted the goal to bring the Fish within one.
The goal erased the remained eight seconds of Katic’s penalty, and Norfolk killed off the remainder of Kubicek’s penalty.
The Admirals got their sixth power play chance at 9:04 when Prapavessis was sent to the Walleye penalty box for Tripping. The Walleye killed off the penalty.
Norfolk got their seventh power play chance at 11:44 when Centazzo was sent to the Toledo penalty box for Hooking.
With just over a minute to go, the Fish pulled Bednar in favor of an extra skater, and it proved to be vital. Craggs found the net to knot the score at 3-3. Riley Sawchuk and Hawkins assisted the equalizer to send the game to overtime.
The two teams shot even 10-10 in the third period, with the Walleye being outshot by the Admirals 23-37 cumulatively. Toledo was 1/2 on the power play in the period, while Norfolk was 0/3.
After a fast-paced, back-and-forth overtime, the Walleye and Admirals headed to a shootout.
The two teams shot even at 4-4 in overtime with no power plays.
Keenan shot first for the Walleye, and was kept out by the pad of Stead.
Fleurent shot first for the Admirals and was denied by Bednar.
Hawkins lined up next for the Fish, being locked out of the net by Stead.
McLean followed for Norfolk, but Bednar stood strong to send it to the third round.
Sawchuk was unable to sneak the puck past Stead.
Smirinov flipped the puck past Bednar to seal a 4-3 shootout victory for the Admirals over the Walleye.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
- Denis Smirnov (1G, 1A, GWG/SO)
- Riley McCourt (1G, 1A)
- Sam Craggs (1G)
The Toledo Walleye will remain at home in the Huntington Center to faceoff with the Norfolk Admirals for the second of three games this weekend tomorrow, Saturday, February 3, 2024, with puck drop coming at 7:15 pm ET.