TOLEDO, Ohio – The Walleye rebounded from their overtime loss in Fort Wayne last night with a 4-2 victory over the Indy Fuel Saturday night.
On a night when the Ohio State Buckeyes were playing in the Big Ten Championship, the Huntington Center was packed as 8,311 were on hand to witness the Walleye win their fourteenth of the season. It was Teddy Bear Toss night in downtown Toledo as over 3,600 stuffed animals were thrown on the ice when Ben Storm lit the lamp with a redirect off the draw just 43 seconds into the first period. Matt Register and T.J. Hensick were credited with the helpers and Toledo’s early 1-0 lead had the crowd into the game early.
Just a few minutes later and the Walleye would add to their lead as Charlie O’Connor scored on a backhander right in front of Indy goaltender Matt Tomkins at 17:55 in the first with an assist given to Daniel Leavens. As the Walleye would lead 2-0 the pace would remain fast until 11:25 in the first when Indy when get on the board with a shorthanded goal scored by Brett Welychka. With 3:16 left in the first period the Walleye would strike again, as Tyler Spezia would skate into the Indy zone and center a perfect pass for Tyler Hamilton as he rifled it past Tomkins to give Toledo a 3-1 lead after the first.
Charlie O’Connor, who scored Toledo’s second goal, would get hit in the face with the puck a few minutes into the second period looking like he may have lost a few teeth. At 13:13 into the second period the Walleye would redeem their Power Play and take a 4-1 lead on an A.J. Jenks goal from Shane Berschbach and Matt Register, Register’s second assist of the night.
Toledo would carry their 4-1 lead into the third and goaltender Pat Nagle would give up his second goal of the night as Indy would score with forty seconds left in the third people that would prove to be too little too late. The Walleye would win 4-2 making their record 14-2-2 and keep the best win percentage in the ECHL.
After game Walleye head coach Dan Watson said Charlie O’Connor did go to the hospital to get more testing and that’s all the information the team had at the time.
“It’s important to the locker room that we play well at home, we get unbelievable support” said Coach Watson. “We just want the fans here know they’re getting a competitive team every single night”.
The Walleye are now 6-0 this year in the Huntington Center and will look to go 7-0 on Wednesday morning as the Cincinnati Cyclones come to town for an educational day game with a 10:35am puck drop.