Walleye Wednesday: A Not-So Sunshine State

Yeah, this guy pretty much screwed the Walleye (not literally) / Photo by: the_mel

Last week the Walleye packed up & took their game to the much warmer and scenic Florida for a game against the Florida Everblades, and back-to-back contests against the Orlando Solar Bears. Unfortunately, the results did not match what I presume was a beautiful setting outside the arena. Rather, the Walleye pretty much played like January Ohio weather: i.e. crappy.

Toledo Walleye 4, Florida Everblades 3 (OT)

Oh, the roadtrip started with so much promise.

Mac Carruth got yet another start in net for the Walleye last Saturday, opposing Jesse Deckert for the Everblades. Florida doubled up the Walleye in shots, 12-6 in the first twenty minutes, but it was Toledo who was able to crack the scoresheet. Travis Novak potted his third of the year at 12:08 of the first, and Toledo took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room after one.

2012 second round Red Wings draft pick Martin Frk (that’s a fun name) in his Walleye debut scored a power play goal at 5:00 minutes of the second period to give the Walleye a 2-0 lead. Russ Sinkewich would score another power play goal about 8 minutes later to give Toledo a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the final period.

Things started to go off the rails for Toledo in the third, when Mathieu Roy got the Everblades on the board just 50 seconds into the period. Rocco Carzo put one past Carruth at 11:51 to close the gap even further. The Walleye’s Alden Hirschfeld took a ill-timed slashing penalty with just 1:46 left in regualation, and Florida made the Walleye pay. Jordan Henry scored with just 1:09 left to tie the game at 3, and sent the game to overtime.

Not to be outdone, Florida’s Matthew Pistilli was called for a tripping minor at 1:15 of overtime. Luckily for the Walleye, they made the Everblades pay the price when Jason Lepine scored Toledo’s third power play goal of the contest at 2:40, sealing a Walleye win and preventing a complete meltdown. The Everblades grossly outshot the Walleye in the contest, 40-23.

Orlando Solar Bears 6, Toledo Walleye 3

Woof.

In the first of back-to-backs in Disney-ville, Jared Coreau made his first start since being shipped back to Toledo from Detroit/Grand Rapids. He was opposed in net by Orlando’s John Curry.  Besides being named after a tasty meal, Curry played three games in net for the Pittsburgh Penguins in their most recent Cup year, 2008-09. The more you know.

The game started out badly for the Walleye, and really didn’t get much better as it went on. Orlando pasted the Walleye for three goals in the first twenty minutes, including one just 1:49 into the contest. The Solar Bears doubled up the Walleye in shots, 14-7, through one.

Toledo showed a bit of life in the second period, with Scott Arnold and Alden Hirschfeld (power play) getting the Walleye within one in the first eight minutes of the period. Orlando would squash that momentum pretty quickly, scoring two additional goals in the period to retake a three-goal lead. Joe Sova would try to make things a little more interesting, scoring with 30 seconds left in the period to bridge the gap to 5-3. Emerson Clark would close out the period for the Walleye receiving 30 minutes in penalties and a game misconduct for fighting, instigating and challenging the Orlando bench. A shame considering he just came back from a suspension. DumB.

David Rutherford scored his second of the game for Orlando 50 seconds into the final period, and that was pretty much all she wrote. Mac Carruth finished up the last 8:25 of the game in net for the Walleye. Despite the score, the Solar Bears held a narrow 35-34 edge in shots for the game.

Orlando Solar Bears 4, Toledo Walleye 2

The Walleye wrapped up the Florida swing with a rare Monday evening contest. Mac Carruth would oppose Orlando’s Christopher Gibson in net.

Once again the Walleye would get in trouble early, when Francis Verreault-Paul put Orlando on top just 1:19 into the game. Toledo fought back, as Marek Tvrdon scored his third goal of the season at 9:03 on the power play. Blake Kessel, brother of Phil and IceHogs signee as of today, would regain the lead for the Solar Bears at 13:54. Alden Hirschfeld would pot his second of the year for Toledo at 17:36, and the teams would head into the dressing room tied at 2.

The second period would feature no scoring, with Orlando outshooting the Walleye 14-3. Carruth would take a roughing minor in the period, bringing his season total to 6 PIM. Hee.

The seal would be broken at 3:51 of the third, when CJ Severyn scored on the power play and gave Orlando a lead they would not relinguish. Verreault-Paul potted his second of the game with just 1:47 left to play, and the Solar Bears would complete the back-to-back sweep of the Walleye. Orlando would outshoot the Walleye, 36-25.

Blackhawks Prospects Update: Mac Carruth is 4-3-0-0, with a 2.50 GAA & .927 SV%…David Gilbert has 1 assist and is a -3 with 10 shots on goal and was scratched for both games in Orlando…Joe Gleason was assigned by Rockford to Toledo today.

The Week Ahead: The Walleye travel to Fort Wayne to take on the Komets on Friday, November 15th. The Walleye return home to the Huntington Center on Saturday, November 16, and Sunday, November 17 to take on the Reading Royals and Evansville IceMen respectively.

Current Standings: North Division – 1) Cincinnati Cyclones, 14 points (9 GP), 2) Evansville Icemen, 13 points (8 GP), 3) Toledo Walleye, 9 points (10 GP), 4) Fort Wayne Komets, 8 points (9 GP),  5) Kalamazoo Wings, 5 points (7 GP).

Stats-O-Rama: Trevor Parkes and Scott Arnold lead the Walleye with 5 goals…Travis Novak leads the team with 10 points and 7 assists…Mac Carruth leads the team with a 4-3-0-0 record with a 2.50 GAA & .927 SV%…Emerson Clark has 58 PIMs, good for second in the ECHL…Arnold is second in the league with 3 power-play goals…The Walleye are 3rd in the league on the power play (23.8%) and 9th on the penalty kill (87.8%)…Toledo is third in the league in attendance, averaging 7,490 fans per game. 

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