While many folks first thought (other than concern, I HOPE) when Nikolai Khabibulin went down with an exploded groin during Saturday’s game in Nashville was YAY ANTTI RAANTA, mine was OOH WALLEYE, YOU IN TROUBLE.
Just a day later, Mac Carruth, he of the .927 SV% and 2.50 GAA, was called up to Rockford to be former Walleye Kent Simpson’s backup. This leaves Red Wings Prospect Jared Coreau with his sparkling 0-3-2-0 record and 4.74 GAA/.848 SV%, as Toledo’s starter in net for the foreseeable future. Add whatever EBUG the Walleye can get off the ECHL scrap heap, and it’s going to be a long, long couple of months in T-Town. BLEARGH.
Fort Wayne Komets 5, Toledo Walleye 4 (OT)
Carruth was actually on the bench for Friday night’s game in Fort Wayne, presumably to give him a break from starting the last several Walleye games in net. Coreau was opposed by the Komets’ Andrey Makarov in goal.
The first period was a fairly even affair, with the Komets holding a 10-9 edge in shots. Fort Wayne would be the only team to score in the first twenty, when Chris Auger beat Coreau glove side at 7:33
Things went from bad to worse to start the second. The Komets scored 2 goals in 50 seconds, the first from Nik Pokulok at at 2:34, and the second from Bobby Hughes at 3:24 to give the Komets a 3-0 lead. The Walleye would mount a comeback in the period, when they scored two quick goals of their own at the end of the second: Daniel Koger lifted a backhander past Makarov at 18:23, followed by Trevor Parkes‘ seventh at 19:06.
Just 26 seconds into the third, Marek Tvrdon one-timed a shot to tie the game at 3. Fort Wayne would regain the lead shortly thereafter, on a power play goal by Hughes at 4:04. It looked like the home team would win in regulation, but Captain Kyle Rogers stuffed a rebound with just 57 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Alas, Mike Vaskivuo would win the game for Fort Wayne at 1:09 of the overtime, but hey, LOSER POINT. The Komets outshot the Walleye 42-31 for the game.
Reading Royals 5, Toledo Walleye 4
Uh, must I recap this? Here, watch the “highlights” if you’re so inclined:
Jared Coreau only managed to stop 21 of 26 Reading shots (ugh) and the Walleye goals were scored by Martin Frk (2), Trevor Parkes and Joe Gleason respectively. The Walleye have now lost four straight. Again, BLEARGH.
Blackhawks Prospects Update: Before his callup, Mac Carruth was 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 – he was retroactively put on the 21-day IR as of 11/13…Joe Gleason has 1 goal and 2 assists in two games with the Walleye…Philippe Lefebvre, the other piece of the trade that brought Kris Versteeg back to the Blackhawks, played one game for the Walleye before being called up to Rockford.
The Week Ahead: The Walleye play just two games (thankfully?) in the next week, both at the Huntington Center. On Saturday, November 23, the Evansville IceMen come visiting. On Wednesday, November 27th, the Walleye play the South Carolina Stingrays for the first time this season.
Current Standings: North Division – 1) Cincinnati Cyclones, 18 points (12 GP), 2) Evansville Icemen, 17 points (11 GP), 3) Fort Wayne Komets, 12 points (11 GP), 4) Toledo Walleye, 10 points (12 GP), 5) Kalamazoo Wings, 9 points (9 GP).
Stats-O-Rama: Trevor Parkes (who was just called up to the Red Wings) leads the team with 8 goals and 14 points…Travis Novak leads the team with 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 third in the ECHL…Scott Arnold is tied for first in the league with 4 power-play goals…The Walleye are 3rd in the league on the power play (21.3%) and 11th on the penalty kill (85.7%)