By now I’m sure you’ve all watched the Walleye Holiday Video. If not, please do as it’s better than the recap that will follow.
The Walleye entered the week in first place in the North Division with only two games on the schedule. Unfortunately that would not be where they ended up when it was all said and done.
Evansville IceMen 8, Toledo Walleye 5
Oh yay, an goaltender-optional game!
In the interest of keeping the crowd entertained, the two teams combined to score five goals in the first and four goals in both the second and third periods on Friday night. Kent Simpson started in net for Toledo but got the hook after giving up the 6th goal to the IceMen 1:37 into the third period. Jordan Pearce attempted to clean up the mess afterward. Paul Karpowich had the (mis)fortune of spending the entire 60 minutes in net for Evansville.
Shockingly, the Walleye actually had a 4-2 lead early into the second period. Goals by Luke Glendening, Willie Coetzee and two by Joey Martin seemed to put Toledo in a good position to gain points. But alas, craziness happened. The Icemen scored five unanswered goals in the second and third periods to give themselves a 7-4 advantage. Wes O’Neill tried to start a Walleye comeback with a powerplay goal at 7:10 of the final period. But a little more than a minute later, the IceMen regained a three-goal advantage, and that is where the game would finish. The Walleye had a slight edge in shots, 35-34.
To add insult to injury, forwards Wade MacLeod and Nathan Moon scored the first two hat-tricks for the IceMen in their short ECHL history. But hey, both Adam Hobson and Philippe Paradis had fighting majors in their 2012 Walleye debuts! Whee.
Kalamazoo Wings 4, Toledo Walleye
As with the previous evening, letting the opponent score in bunches would do the Walleye in again.
Jordan Pearce and Joel Martin started in net for the Walleye and K-Wings respectively. It would be the Wings who struck first, when Steven Anthony took advantage of a Pearce rebound 5:22 into the game. Toledo would knot the game at one with Willie Coetzee scoring his tenth of the year halfway through the first.
The normally excellent Walleye penalty kill would fail them early in the second period. With Phil Oreskovic in the box for a slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct double minor, the K-Wings would strike twice. Aaron Clarke scored at 2:30 and Nick Sirota added another goal just 49 seconds later. Sirota would score his second of the evening at 7:09. Wes O’Neill would close the gap to two with a tipped power play goal of his own at 16:21 of the middle frame.
The Walleye would outshoot the K-Wings 13-2 in the last twenty minutes to attempt the comeback. Luke Glendening would make things interesting, scoring his 14th of the year at 12:36. But even with Pearce pulled for the last two minutes of the game, the Walleye couldn’t find the equalizer and fell in K-Zoo. Toledo held the shot advantage for the game, 31-22.
Blackhawks Prospects Update: Benny Youds has 18 points (3G, 15A)…Terry Broadhurst has 17 points (4G, 13A), and had a six-game scoring streak…Philippe Paradis was sent down from Rockford and played his first two games for Toledo this weekend…Kent Simpson is 5-6-0-1 on the season with a 2.91 GAA and a .883 SV%…Byron Froese had wrist surgery and will be out for 4-6 weeks – he currently has 17 points on the season
The Week Ahead: The Walleye return home this week, vs. the Wheeling Nailers on Wednesday, December 12th, and play back-to-back games vs. the Evansville IceMen on Saturday, December 15th and vs the defending Kelly Cup Champs, the Florida Everblades on Sunday, December 16th.
Current Standings: North Division – 1) Cincinnati Cyclones, 30 points (22 GP), 2) Toledo Walleye, 27 points (24 GP), 3) Fort Wayne Komets, 23 points (21 GP), 4) Kalamazoo Wings, 22 points (22 GP), 5) Evansville IceMen, 22 points (26 GP).
Stats-O-Rama: Willie Coetzee leads the team with 21 points …Luke Glendening has 14 goals on the season, tied for first amongst all rookies…Benny Youds has 15 assists…Glendening leads the team with a +10…Jordan Pearce leads the Walleye with a 6-3-0-0 record, a 2.71 GAA and .900 SV%…Coetzee is first in the league with 100 SOGs…the Walleye’s power play is 16.5% (14th) and have a 83.2% penalty kill rate (11th)…Toledo finally is no longer the least penalized team in the league – they’re 22 of 23, averaging 12.9 PIM per game