So, you’ve been eagerly anticipating the start of the ECHL season, especially since Toledo got dumped in the first round of the playoffs last season. Finally, October 19th has arrived – woooo hockey! And then the game is over and you have to wait nearly another week for game two. You’re the bestest ECHL scheduling.
Toledo Walleye 4, Fort Wayne Komets 3 (SO)
The 2013-14 season kicked off in Fort Wayne against the divisional foe Komets. The Komets were blessed with the best attendance in the league last season, averaging 7,583 folks per home contest. Unfortunately for those fans, they didn’t really get to watch good hockey, as their team finished out of the playoffs in their first season in the ECHL, with just 70 points.
Mac Carruth was making his professional debut in net, opposing John Muse in goal for Fort Wayne. The season did not get off to a good start for the Walleye, taking a Too Much Man penalty just 48 seconds into the game. The Komets made them pay early, with Mickey Lang scoring on a one-timer at 1:29. The Walleye would get a power play of their own later in the period, and Scott Arnold ripped a shot past Muse at 8:20. The first period would end with the teams tied at one.
Toledo would grab their first lead of the season at 2:53 of the second when Trevor Parkes deflected a Komets pass past Muse. The Walleye held that lead for most of the period until Chris Auger scored short-handed at 16:39, shooting a wrister that went behind Carruth.
Once again, the Walleye scored early in the period, as Travis Novak put away a rebound from a Parkes shot just 2:52 into the third. It looked like the lead might hold, but Lang scored his second with just 4:30 left, and the game would end in regulation tied at 3. After 60 minutes, the Komets had a commanding lead in shots, 35-18.
Neither team would score in overtime, with the Walleye getting 3 shots on goal compared to the Komets lone shot on Carruth. The Walleye squeaked out the extra point with Daniel Koger and Arnold scoring in the shootout, while Carruth only allowed a lone Fort Wayne goal in five shooters. Did you know the Walleye didn’t win a single shootout last season? IMPROVEMENT!!!1
Blackhawks Prospects Update: Mac Carruth is 1-0-0-0 (duh), with a 2.77 GAA & .914 SV%…Bobby Shea notched 1 assist and is a +1…David Gilbert recorded one shot on goal
The Week Ahead: The Walleye visit Cincinnati on Thursday, October 24th to meet the Cyclones. The 2013-14 home opener at the Huntington Center is Saturday, October 26th vs. the Wheeling Nailers. The Walleye play a matinee (??) on Wednesday, October 30th vs. the Cyclones.
Current Standings (SMALL SAMPLE SIZE): North Division – 1) Evansville IceMen, 2 points (1 GP), 2) Cincinnati Cyclones, 2 points (1 GP), 3) Toledo Walleye, 2 points (1 GP), 4) Fort Wayne Komets, 1 points (1 GP), 5) Kalamazoo Wings, 0 points (1 GP).