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Kruse, special teams lead comeback win over Nailers

Friday, March 29th
Kruse, special teams lead comeback win over Nailers

TOLEDO – The Toledo Walleye defeated the Wheeling Nailers 3-2 on Friday night at the Huntington Center.

What Happened:

The Walleye welcomed the Nailers back into the Huntington Center for their first matchup since December 1, 2023, in Wheeling, WV.

Jan Bednar split the pipes for the Walleye. Jacob Graves and Riley McCourt patrolled the blue line while Brandon Hawkins, Trenton Bliss and Orrin Centazzo led the Toledo attack.

Garret Sparks covered the crease for the visiting Nailers. Davis Bunz and Justin Lee manned the defense with Jared Westcott, Dustin Manz and Matt Koopman filling out the Wheeling front line.

The first period action began with a Wheeling power play at 8:30 after McCourt was penalized for Interference.

The Nailers converted the power play at 9:05 to strike first, as it was Jordan Martel breaking the ice. David Jankowski and Lee added assists to the opening score.

That wrapped the first frame with the Walleye trailing the Nailers 1-0. The Walleye outshot the Nailers 7-4 in the period. Toledo was 0/1 on the power play in the period, while Wheeling was 1/1.

The Walleye knotted the game shorthanded at 7:42 when Dalton Messina lit the lamp to make it 1-1. Conlan Keenan and Matt Anderson assisted the shorthanded tally. The assist by Keenan marked his 100th point as a member of the Walleye. The Walleye killed off the remainder of the Nailers power play.

The Nailers got their next man-advantage at 17:28 when Chase Gresock was called for High-Sticking. The Walleye killed off the man-advantage to close out the period.

That wrapped the second set of 20 minutes with the Walleye and Nailers tied 1-1. Toledo was outshot 6-11 in the period and 13-15 after two periods. The Walleye did not have a power play chance in the period, while the Nailers were 0/2 in the second.

The Nailers kicked off the third period with a power play goal at 3:35 to reclaim the lead at 2-1. Westcott landed the advantage tally with Lee and Jankowski each adding their second assists of the night.

The Walleye penalty kill came up huge, fending off a five-on-three that led to a Brandon Kruse score at 8:23, tying the game at 2-2. McCourt added an assist to the score, his 44th of the season, putting him at the top of the Walleye record books for most assists in a season by a defenseman.

Kruse came in clutch again, burying a rebound for the game-winning goal at 14:47, putting the score at its’ final resting place of 3-2. Anderson assisted the game-winner, his second helper of the night.

The horns sounded with the Toledo Walleye officially claiming a 3-2 win over the Wheeling Nailers. The Walleye outshot the Nailers 12-9 in the period and 25-24 overall. Toledo was 0/1 on the power play in the period and 0/2 overall, while Wheeling was 1/3 in the period and 2/6 overall.

Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:

  1. Brandon Kruse (2G; GWG) – TOL
  2. Matt Anderson (2A) – TOL
  3. Dalton Messina (1G) – TOL

What’s Next:

The Toledo Walleye will close out Fins and Feathers Weekend tomorrow, Saturday, March 30, 2024, when the Indy Fuel return for the final time this season with puck drop coming at 7:15 pm ET.

 

WALLEYE SIGN COLLEGE FORWARD WILLMS

Today, the Toledo Walleye signed collegiate forward Jason Willms from the University of New Brunswick. Willms collected 34 points and 26 penalty minutes in 30 games with New Brunswick this season. Over his three collegiate seasons, Willms tallied 76 points (35G, 41A) and 64 penalty minutes in 84 games.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Wheeling Nailers
Toledo Walleye
Friday, November 1st
Wheeling Nailers @ Toledo Walleye
Puck Drops:
7:15 PM EDT
Huntington Center
Wheeling Nailers
WHL Wheeling Nailers
at
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
Huntington Center
Cincinnati Cyclones
Toledo Walleye
Saturday, November 2nd
Cincinnati Cyclones @ Toledo Walleye
Puck Drops:
7:15 PM EDT
Huntington Center
Cincinnati Cyclones
CIN Cincinnati Cyclones
at
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
Huntington Center
Fort Wayne Komets
Toledo Walleye
Friday, November 8th
Fort Wayne Komets @ Toledo Walleye
Puck Drops:
7:15 PM EST
Huntington Center
Fort Wayne Komets
FW Fort Wayne Komets
at
Toledo Walleye
TOL Toledo Walleye
Huntington Center

Latest News

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Forward Darian Pilon returns to the Fish
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Brandon Kruse returns to the Walleye for the 2024-25 season
Brandon Kruse returns to the Walleye for the 2024-25 season

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