TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye defeated the Norfolk Admirals 9-1 on Sunday evening at the Huntington Center.
The Toledo Walleye welcomed the Norfolk Admirals into the Huntington Center to finish a three-game weekend series between the two teams.
John Lethemon defended the home net for the Walleye coming off of a season-high 44 saves in his last outing. Matt Anderson and Michael Prapavessis manned the defence while Sam Craggs, Conlan Keenan and Brandon Kruse led the Toledo attack. The start for Keenan marked his 200th professional game.
Yaniv Perets started between the pipes for the Admirals. Darick Louis-Jean and Andrew McLean staffed the defence while Danny Katic, Aaron Miller and Brandon Osmundson filled out the Norfolk attack.
The action started with a Walleye power play at 4:12 when Thomas Caron was sent to the Admirals penalty box for High-Sticking. The Admirals killed off the power play.
Toledo got their next power play when Gehrett Sargis was assessed a Hooking penalty for Norfolk at 6:39.
The Walleye converted the power play at 7:46 when Kruse found paydirt to start the scoring. Brandon Hawkins and Orrin Centazzo assisted the icebreaker.
The Fish added two more goals in quick succession to stretch their lead to 3-0.
First, it was Riley Sawchuk lighting the lamp at 15:01 with Grant Gabriele and Chase Gresock assisting the score.
Then, just 23 seconds later, it was Kruse for his second goal of the period at 15:24. Riley McCourt and Keenan earned the apples on the score.
McCourt and Stepan Timofeyev exchanged Roughing penalties at 17:39, dropping the play to four-on-four.
The play dropped to four-on-three at 19:06 when Mitch Lewandowski was handed a Hooking penalty.
The power play was converted by Norfolk at five-on-four at 19:48 when Brady Fleurent put the Admirals in the score column. Denis Smirnov and Caron assisted the power play score.
That wrapped the first period action with the Walleye leading the Admirals 3-1.
The two teams shot even at 10-10 in the period. Toledo was 1/2 on the power play in the period while Norfolk was 1/1.
The second period action began with a Walleye power play at 3:29 after McLean was charged with a Helmet Violation trying to get off of the ice. The Admirals killed off the man-advantage.
Just after the expiration of the power play, the Walleye found the net to stretch it to 4-1. Lewandowski put a rebound past Perets for the score. Sawchuk and Prapavessis were the helping-hands on the tally.
The Fish got their fourth man-advantage of the evening at 15:23 after Katic was assessed a High-Sticking penalty.
The Walleye converted the power play at 17:11 when Sawchuk found the net for the second time in the game. Lewandowski and Prapavessis added the assists to the tally. The goal marked Sawchuk’s third point of the evening, while the assists were the second point of the game for both Lewandowski and Prapavessis.
The Fish tacked on another goal as Hawkins lit the lamp for his 200th point as a member of the Walleye at 19:09. Craggs added a solo assist to the tally.
After the horn, Adrien Beraldo and Keegan Iverson started to scrap. Iverson escaped with just two minutes for High-Sticking, Beraldo was not so lucky. Beraldo was assessed a Double Minor, one for Slashing and one for Roughing, as well as a ten-minute Misconduct for Continuing Altercation.
That wrapped the second period with the Walleye leading the Admirals 6-1.
The Walleye outshot the Admirals 15-8 in the period and 25-18 cumulatively. Toledo was 1/2 on the power play in the period while Norfolk did not have a chance.
The Walleye began the third period action by killing off the Admirals power play from the end of the second period.
The Fish gave the sellout crowd of 7,777 at seventh goal at 2:15 when Craggs hit twine to make it 7-1. Lewandowski and Denomie added assists to the tally.
The Walleye got another man-advantage at 7:18 when Miller was assessed a Roughing penalty. The Admirals fended off the power play.
The Walleye got their sixth power play of the night at 8:49 after Iverson was heavily penalized. Iverson was assessed an Unsportsmanlike Conduct minor, giving the Walleye the power play. Iverson was also disqualified after receiving a ten-minute Misconduct and a Game Misconduct for Abuse of Officials for a total of 22 penalty minutes in the stoppage. The Admirals killed off yet another power play.
The Walleye made it 8-1 at 13:25 when Kruse found the net for his third goal of the night, cementing his first career hat trick and fifth by a Walleye player this season. Gresock and Gabriele each tallied their second assists of the game on the score.
Norfolk had another ten penalty minutes tacked on after Carson Musser was handed a ten-minute misconduct at 18:33, ending his night.
The Fish put the icing on the cake with a ninth goal at 19:28 by Gresock, stretching it to 9-1 for the second consecutive Sunday. Jake Willets and Alexandre Doucet assisted the score.
As the horns sounded, all chaos broke loose. Gloves, helmets, sticks, you name it, all were dropped and punches were thrown.
Starting with Norfolk, Connor Fedorek was assessed a Roughing penalty, Timofeyev was given a five-minute major for Fighting, and back-up goaltender Kristian Stead was given a Game Misconduct for Leaving the Bench.
For the Walleye, Trenton Bliss was assessed a Roughing minor, Willets was given a Cross-Checking penalty and a five-minute major for Fighting, and Lethemon received a four-minute Double Minor for Roughing.
That would finish an exciting 9-1 Toledo Walleye victory over the Norfolk Admirals.
The Walleye outshot the Admirals 12-11 in the period and 37-29 overall. Toledo was 0/2 on the power play in the period and 2/6 overall, while Norfolk was 0/1 in the period and 1/2 overall.
Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:
- Brandon Kruse (3G; 1st Professional Hat Trick)
- Riley Sawchuk (2G, 1A)
- Brandon Hawkins (1G, 1A; 200th Toledo Point)
The Toledo Walleye will remain at home to welcome the Kalamazoo Wings into the Huntington Center on Friday, February 9, 2024, to close out the six-game home stretch with puck drop coming at 7:15 pm ET.