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Anderson, Messina star as Walleye beat Fuel, claim playoff berth

Saturday, March 23rd
Anderson, Messina star as Walleye beat Fuel, claim playoff berth

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Toledo Walleye defeated the Indy Fuel 5-2 on Saturday night at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

What Happened:

The Toledo Walleye took a trip to Indianapolis to close out the weekend against the Indy Fuel.

Jan Bednar started between the pipes for the visiting Walleye. Jacob Graves and Riley McCourt patrolled the blue line while Riley Sawchuk, Brandon Kruse and Alexandre Doucet led the Toledo attack.

Zach Driscoll defended the home net for the host Fuel. Santino Centorame and Victor Hadfield held the defensive zone, while Seamus Malone, Bryan Lemos and Andrew Bellant filled out the Indy front.

The Walleye kicked off the action at 6:18 when Dalton Messina buried his first professional goal to put the Walleye up 1-0. Noah Prokop and Michael Prapavessis added assists to the icebreaker.

The Walleye got their first power play chance at 9:51 when Matus Spodniak was penalized for Slashing. The Fuel killed off the penalty.

Indy knotted the game at 1-1 after Bellant snuck the puck past Bednar at 12:26. Centorame added a solo assist to the equalizer.

Toledo got their next man-advantage at 13:09 when Hadfield was sent to the Indy penalty box for Cross-Checking. Indy killed off the penalty.

That wrapped the first frame with the Walleye and the Fuel tied 1-1.

The Walleye were outshot by the Fuel 7-10 in the period. Toledo was 0/2 on the power play in the period while Indy did not have an opportunity.

The second period kicked off with a Fuel power play at 4:04 when McCourt was penalized for Interference.

Indy converted the power play at 4:21 when Brett Bulmer hit twine to put Indy on top 2-1. Cam Hillis and Ryan Gagnier added helpers to the tally.

The Walleye restored the tie at 2-2 when Messina swiped the puck and landed his second goal of the night unassisted at 5:21.

The Fish then took and extended with lead with two scores in quick succession.

First, it was Matt Anderson finding the net with an assist from Bednar at 13:11 to put the Walleye ahead 3-2.

Then it was Anderson again for his second of the game at 15:35, extending the lead to 4-2. Brandon Hawkins and Grant Gabriele picked apples on the tally.

The Fuel ended the period on the power play after Messina was penalized for Hooking at 18:23.

At the horn, plenty of gloves would be dropped, resulting in penalties to both teams.

Sam Craggs and Graves each were given a Roughing minor and ten-minute Misconducts for Continuing Altercation. Josh Maniscalco also was handed a Roughing minor and a ten-minute Misconduct for Continuing Altercation for the Fuel.

The third period would begin with the Fuel having a five-on-three advantage for the remainder of Messina’s penalty. Following that, the Fuel would remain on the power play.

That wrapped the second set of 20 minutes with the Walleye leading the Fuel 4-2.

The Walleye were outshot 7-12 in the period by the Fuel and 14-22 after two periods. Toledo did not have a power play chance in the period, while Indy was 0/1 on chances completed in the period.

The third period action began with all penalties being killed off.

The Walleye got their next power play chance at 7:54 when Christopher Cameron was sent to the Fuel penalty box for Delay of Game.

At 8:48, the ice opened up, resulting in a lengthy ice delay, but play would eventually resume.

The Fuel killed off the power play successfully.

The Fish got their fourth man-advantage at 11:28 when Cameron was penalized for Cross-Checking.

Play on the ice dropped to four-on-four at 13:22 after Anderson was caught Slashing, making it four-on-four for 17 seconds before becoming a Fuel power play.

The Fuel power play was cut short at 14:28 after Cam Hillis was called for Boarding, meaning four-on-four hockey for 44 seconds before becoming a Toledo power play.

Play on the ice dropped back down to four-on-four at 15:25 when Toledo was called for Too Many Men served by Chase Gresock. The four-on-four would remain for another 1:03 before becoming another Indy power play.

Play would revert back to four-on-four for 12 seconds at 17:13 as Kyle Maksimovich was caught Slashing for an eventual Walleye power play.

At long last, the Walleye converted the power play at 19:04 when Craggs lit the lamp. Kruse and Hawkins added assists to the score.

The horns sounded with the Toledo Walleye defeating the Indy Fuel 5-2, and as a result, clinching a spot in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

The Walleye outshot the Fuel 18-3 in the period and 32-25 overall. Toledo was 1/4 on the power play in the period and 1/6 overall, while Indy was 1/4 on power plays completed in the period and 1/5 overall.

Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:

  1. Matt Anderson (2G; GWG) – TOL
  2. Dalton Messina (2G; First Pro Goal) – TOL
  3. Brandon Hawkins (2A) – TOL

What’s Next:

The Toledo Walleye will have Sunday off before returning to Indianapolis on Wednesday night for a rematch with the Indy Fuel on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at Indiana Farmers Coliseum with puck drop coming at 7:00 pm ET.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Playoffs: Round 1, Game 1 (A)
Friday, April 19th
Playoffs: Round 1, Game 1 (A)
Puck Drops:
7:15 PM EDT
Huntington Center
TBD
TBD TBD
at
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
Huntington Center
Playoffs: Round 1, Game 2 (B)
Saturday, April 20th
Playoffs: Round 1, Game 2 (B)
Puck Drops:
7:15 PM EDT
Huntington Center
TBD
TBD TBD
at
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
Huntington Center

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