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Sawchuk sends Fish to Western Conference Finals with overtime game-winner

Friday, May 10th
Sawchuk sends Fish to Western Conference Finals with overtime game-winner

WHEELING, WV – The Toledo Walleye defeated the Wheeling Nailers 3-2 in overtime on Friday night at WesBanco Arena.

What Happened:

Riley Sawchuk buried an overtime game-winner on the power play to give the Walleye a second straight sweep and their 22nd consecutive win to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Jan Bednar split the iron for the Walleye. Jacob Graves and Riley McCourt skated the blue line while Brandon Hawkins, Trenton Bliss and Conlan Keenan led the Toledo attack.

Taylor Gauthier returned from reserve to cover the crease for the host Nailers. David Drake and Thimo Nickl manned the defense while Peter Laviolette, Matthew Quercia and Dillon Hamaliuk filled out the Wheeling front.

A scoreless first period saw Toledo get outshot by Wheeling 8-13.

Wheeling started the scoring in the second period when Hamaliuk lit the lamp at 8:09. Quercia and Tanner Laderoute assisted the icebreaker.

The Walleye evened the score at 16:54 when Hawkins sent a laser into the back of the net, making it 1-1. Matt Anderson added a solo assist to the equalizer.

That wrapped the second frame with the Walleye and the Nailers tied at 1-1. Toledo outshot Wheeling 10-4 in the period and 18-17 after two periods.

The Fish took a lead to start the third period when Chase Gresock found the net at 1:32. Brandon Kruse and Michael Prapavessis assisted the go-ahead tally.

Wheeling knotted it back up at 2-2 when Justin Addamo hit paydirt at 9:17. Justin Lee and Jordan Martel added assists to the game-tying goal.

That wrapped regulation with the Walleye and the Nailers tied 2-2. Toledo outshot Wheeling 16-8 in the period and 34-25 in regulation.

The Fish once again claimed an overtime win, this time on the back of Riley Sawchuk, his seventh of the postseason. Alexandre Doucet and McCourt assisted the power play game-winner, sending the Walleye to the Western Conference Finals. Toledo outshot Wheeling 2-1 in overtime and 36-26 overall.

Three Stars Sponsored by Local 245:

  1. Riley Sawchuk (GWG/OT) – TOL
  2. Brandon Hawkins (1G) – TOL
  3. Justin Addamo (1G) – WHL

What’s Next:

The Walleye will await their next opponent as they will host the winner of the series between the Kansas City Mavericks and the Idaho Steelheads on Friday, May 17, 2024, at the Huntington Center for game one of the Western Conference Finals with puck drop at 7:15 pm ET.

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