Walleye Wednesday: A Fishy New Year

Look at Benny Youds (#25) scoring and stuff / Photo via Walleye Facebook

Yes again, I know it’s supposed to be “Walleye Monday” but I wasn’t even in the state Monday, so Mea Culpa. Hearing about the last four games for the Walleye was worth the wait wasn’t it? On second thought, don’t answer that.

Toledo Walleye 5, Fort Wayne Komets 2

Max Campbell potted the Walleye’s first hat-trick of the season last Thursday in Fort Wayne. Which is great, considering he was traded to Bakersfield just a few days later. Whoops.

Kent Simpson faced off against Komets netminder Ken Reiter. Both goalies were perfect in the first 20 minutes, as Toledo outshot Fort Wayne 13 to a paltry 5. The fun started for the visitors in the middle frame. Kyle Rogers scored two goals just 3:22 apart, at 4:52 and 8:14. Toledo’s limp power play got a boost when Campbell scored his first two goals with the man-advantage at 13:11 and 17:59. Garrett Klotz would add a power play goal for the Komets with just 7 seconds left in the second to break the shutout for Simpson.

The power play again struck for Fort Wayne, when Josh Brittain got a shot past Simpson just 2:02 into the third period. Campbell would net his hatty just 3:44 later to ice the game for the Walleye. The Walleye had a decided advantage in shots, 39-26 for the game.

Cincinnati Cyclones 5, Toledo Walleye 3

This game can only be described as ugly.

Michael Pelech scored just 54 seconds into the game on the Walleye’s Jordan Pearce and David Pacan added a second Cyclones tally just 5:02 later. Ben Youds would finally get the Walleye on the board at 8:05 of the period. The Walleye also successfully killed off a five minute boarding major that Cody Lampl received, in addition to a game misconduct and a fine of “an undisclosed amount” he got the following day. Happy new year Cody! Surprisingly, the Walleye outshot Cincinnati 11-6 in the first twenty minutes.

Things went from bad to worse for the Walleye in the second. Garrett Wilson and Josh Shalla scored at 8:52 and 10:22 of the period for the Cyclones. This spelled the end of the evening for Pearce, clearing the way for mop-up duty for Kent Simpson. Joey Martin finally gave something for the sold-out crowd at the Huntington Center to cheer about, when he potted a shorthanded breakaway past Brian Foster at 13:56.

The third period was more of the same – Maury Edwards scored for Cincinnati at 12:44 to give the Cyclones a commanding 3-goal lead. Andrej Nestrasil gave the 7 fans probably left in the arena a treat when he scored with just 5 seconds left in the game to make the score look closer than it was. The Walleye actually outshot the Cyclones 37-21 for the game. What even.

 Kalamazoo Wings 4, Toledo Walleye 3 (SO)

I’m lazy and shootouts suck, so just watch the highlights above. Bonus terrible Xmas sweater in the beginning of the video!

Toledo Walleye 9, Fort Wayne Komets 4

I think both teams gave the goalies New Years Eve off.

Shockingly, the game was actually tied at two apiece after twenty minutes. Kyle Rogers started the scoring for Toledo just 3:11 in, with Fort Wayne’s Jean-Michel Rizk knotting the game up at one at 6:21. Andrej Nestrasil again gave the Walleye the lead just 34 seconds later, but Scott Kishel tied the game again at 10:39.

The barnburner began in the second period. Not only did the Walleye outscore the Komets 3-1, but it also featured two fights, one between Doug Clarkson and Fort Wayne’s Stephon Thome, and the second between the Walleye’s Phil Oreskovic and Brent Henley. For those who care about such things, you can see both fights at hockeyfights.com – I found the second one particularly amusing. Goals in the period for Toledo were scored by Terry Broadhurst, Wes O’Neill and Nestrasil. Komets goalie Ken Reiter would be pulled after the O’Neill goal in favor of Charlie Effinger. I’m sure in retrospect, Charlie probably wishes he would’ve hid in the showers.

The onslaught continued in the last twenty minutes, as Toledo potted another four goals to send the Fort Wayne crowd home miserable after the last game of the year. Travis Novak would score two in the period, with goals added by Adam Hobson and Joey Martin. To add insult to injury, Martin’s goal was scored shorthanded. The Walleye blasted 43 shots compared to Fort Wayne’s 32, and all but two players on the Walleye (not counting Jordan Pearce) netted at least a point on the evening.

Blackhawks Prospects Update: Terry Broadhurst has 29 points (11G, 18A) with a +12 and is currently tied for second amongst all ECHL rookies…Benny Youds has 26 points (4G, 22A)…Kent Simpson is 7-7-0-2 on the season with a 2.83 GAA and a .887 SV%…Brandon Svendsen has three assists in three games for the Walleye – he is currently day-to-day with a lower-body injury…Byron Froese had wrist surgery and will be out for another 2-4 weeks – he currently has 17 points on the season

The Week Ahead: The Walleye play three games in three nights, starting on Friday, January 4th on the road vs. the Kalamazoo Wings. The Walleye play their next two games at home, Saturday, January 5th vs. the Orlando Solar Bears and Sunday, January 6th vs. the Wings.

Current Standings: North Division – 1) Cincinnati Cyclones, 40 points (31 GP), 2) Toledo Walleye, 38 points (33 GP), 3) Fort Wayne Komets, 36 points (33 GP), 4) Kalamazoo Wings, 29 points (31 GP),  5) Evansville IceMen, 25 points (34 GP).

Stats-O-Rama: Willie Coetzee and Andrej Nestrasil lead the team with 31 points…Luke Glendening (currently on an AHL callup) and Coetzee have 14 goals on the season…Benny Youds has 22 assists…Nestrasil won the “AMI Graphics ECHL Plus Performer of the Month” for December with a +13…Jordan Pearce leads the Walleye with a 9-5-0-0 record and a .896 SV%…Coetzee is second in the league with 129 SOGs…the Walleye’s power play is 17.2% (13th) and have a 83.1% penalty kill rate (8th)…Toledo is 20th out of 23 teams, averaging 14.6 PIM per game…The Walleye have outshot their opponents in 13 of the last 14 games.

In almost exciting news, I will actually be in attendance on Saturday night in Toledo for the first time. Which means I get to see these bad boys in person – YES!


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