Walleye Monday: Shooting Blanks

And to think, I nearly purchased Simpson’s marvelous jersey / Photo by: the_mel

The Walleye played three games in three nights last week. I was in attendance for the game in the middle. Did I bring them good luck? Of course not! But hey, I had a good time at least.

Toledo Walleye 2, Kalamazoo Wings 0

The Walleye spent their Friday night in K-Zoo, and for this I feel sorry for them. Jordan Pearce got the nod in net for Toledo while Joel Martin was between the pipes for the Wings.

The Walleye got the only goal of the first period, scored by Terry Broadhurst at 8:52. It was the third game in a row for Broadhurst with a tally. The Wings outshot the Walleye in the first twenty minutes, 13-12.

Randy Rowe got a puck past Martin just 18 seconds into the second to give the Walleye a 2-0 lead. And that was all she wrote folks. The K-Wings put 35 shots on Pearce compared to Toledo’s 25. This would be Pearce’s second shutout of the season.

Orlando Solar Bears 4, Toledo Walleye 3 (SO)

Did you know that the Walleye goal horn is a fog horn? It is. I nearly died laughing. They also have their own “song” which I have been unable to get out of my head since Saturday night. And now, I will share it with you all. Enjoy.

On “Terrible Boy Scout Jersey Night”, 7,823 fans filled the Huntington Center, including yours truly for the first time. To be honest though, I don’t know if those Scouts jerseys were any worse than Orlando’s – I felt like wearing sunglasses while watching the game.

Kent Simpson got the start in goal for Toledo, facing Orlando’s John Curry. The Walleye got off to a quick start in the game, with Brandon Svendsen scoring at 7:08 and Kyle Rogers potting another goal for Toledo at 14:30. We barely got our butts back into the seats when Ryan Cruthers scored for the Solar Bears, just 32 seconds after the Rogers goal. The Walleye got off a whopping 24 shots in the first period, compared to the Solar Bears’ 5.

Scott Tanski (lovingly referred to as “Carrot Top” in our section), knotted the game at two at 9:43 of the second. Orlando took their first lead of the game at 14:12 on a goal by Ryan Reaves. Yes, that Ryan Reaves. Hot garbage. Cody Lampl, he of the epic beard and neck tattoo, would fire a shot from the point past Curry at 17:50 to tie the game at three for Toledo.

Neither team scored in the third period, despite the Walleye outshooting Orlando 10-2. Overtime was also a scoreless affair, with the SOGs after 65 minutes in favor of Toledo, 42-21. Aye carumba. Despite the shot domination, Toledo couldn’t make them count in the shootout. Goals by Dan Dries, Dan Gendur and Mathew Sisca doomed the Walleye, with only Terry Broadhurst able to get a puck past Curry in the skills competition. Bah.

Kalamazoo Wings 2, Toledo Walleye 1 (SO)

The Walleye have yet to win in the shootout this season. I think they just need to forfeit after overtime.

Jordan Pearce and Joel Martin matched up again in net for Toledo and K-Zoo. It would be the Walleye striking first, as Max Nicastro fired a one-timer past Martin at 17:15. Alexandre Mallet would get a puck past Pearce with just 25 seconds left in the first to tie the game at one. The Wings had a slight edge in shots, 10-9 after one period.

The final 40 minutes and overtime was scoreless for both teams with Toledo holding a 32-24 advantage in SOGs. Once again, the shootout would bite the Walleye’s collective arses. Despite Pearce only allowing a goal by Eric Kattelus, none of Toledo’s five shooters could get a shot past Martin to give the Wings the win. The Walleye are now 0-4 on the year in shootouts. Can they bag skate the team while practicing shootout moves?

Lockout Update: Now that we’ve all done the happy dance (or passed out drunk) due to the ending of the NHL lockout, it’s time to take a quick look at how this will effect the roster in Toledo.

On the Blackhawks prospect side, with at least 3 IceHogs likely to make the big club (Nick Leddy, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw, and perhaps even Hayes, Smith and Bollig), most of the Hawks prospects have made the move from Toledo to Rockford. And now having spent time in both cities, I think I’d prefer Toledo – they do have Tim Horton’s and Waffle Houses at least. Terry Broadhurst, Brandon Svendsen and Ben Youds got the call-up to Rock Vegas this afternoon. Byron Froese was also called up even though his injured wrist was still in a cast on Saturday- he’ll be several weeks away from playing at least. Kent Simpson is currently the only Hawks prospect left on the Walleye – which I’m sure will thrill the fans that think he sucks solely because he’s a Blackhawks draft pick. Dumb Red Wings fans are dumb.

On the Detroit prospect side, Luke Glendening, Andrej Nestrasil and Max Nicastro are already up in Grand Rapids and unlikely to return. Depending on the needs in Detroit (and there may be a lot as everyone seems to have finally reached social security age and retired) Jordan Pearce and Willie Coetzee may get the call to Grand Rapids as well. I pity them.

When it all shakes out, the Walleye will be looking to add several forwards to the roster in addition to perhaps a defenseman and goaltender. Additionally, any AHL team can sign a player on an ECHL contract. Expect ECHL trades and signings to get very interesting in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully they won’t have to pull anyone from the beer leagues to round out the roster.

Blackhawks Prospects Update: Terry Broadhurst has 31 points (12G, 19A) with a +13 and is currently tied for second amongst all ECHL rookies…Benny Youds has 27 points (4G, 23A), leading the league for defensemen…Kent Simpson is 7-7-0-3 on the season with a 2.83 GAA and a .885 SV%…Brandon Svendsen had one goal and three assists in four games for the Walleye…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 vs the defending Kelly Cup Champion Florida Everblades in Florida: Wednesday, January 9th, Friday, January 11th and Saturday, January 12th.

Current Standings: North Division – 1) Cincinnati Cyclones, 42 points (34 GP), 2) Toledo Walleye, 42 points (36 GP), 3) Fort Wayne Komets, 40 points (36 GP), 4) Kalamazoo Wings, 33 points (34 GP),  5) Evansville IceMen, 29 points (37GP).

Stats-O-Rama: Willie Coetzee leads the team with 33 points…Luke Glendening (currently on an AHL callup) and Coetzee have 14 goals on the season…Benny Youds has 23 assists…Andrej Nestrasil (in Grand Rapids) leads with a +15…Jordan Pearce leads the Walleye with a 10-5-0-1 record, a 2.53 GAA and a .908 SV%…Coetzee is second in the league with 135 SOGs…the Walleye’s power play is 15.7% (17th) and have a 84.1% penalty kill rate (8th)…Toledo is 21st out of 23 teams, averaging 14.2 PIM per game…The Walleye are first in the league with 33.06 shots per game

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