Late overtime goal sends the Walleye past Cincinnati 3-2Written by Vincent D. Scebbi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It just squeaked by goaltender Brian Foster, but it was all that it needed to be as rookie Terry Broadhurst scored the game-winning goal with 35.5 seconds left overtime to give the Walleye the 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Broadhurst used his speed to blow past the defense and fired a well-hit wrist shot that barely got past the goalie.
“It’s definitely something you dream about since you’re a little kid and for that to happen is pretty special,” the rookie said.
The goal was Broadhurst’s first pro goal.
“It’s nice to get the first one off your back but when it happens in overtime, it’s much sweeter,” he said.
After a slow start by the Walleye (2-0-0) defense, they ended the first period on strong and came out intense in the second period, dominating puck control and outshooting the Cyclones (1-1-0) 12-4 in that period.
In fact, while Cincinnati had 14 shots on goal in the first period, after that they were held to just 11 shots for the rest of the game.
“I thought the last six or seven minutes of the first period, we started making things happen and I think it just carried over into the second period,” said head coach Nick Vitucci.
The Walleye penalty kill looked strong again, not allowing a goal on three penalties. Goalie Kent Simpson had 23 saves on the night.
Tonight was Simpson’s first career ECHL game. The Edmonton native spent most of last season with WHL Everett Silvertips and played one game with Toledo’s AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs.
The Cyclones got it started with 8:13 into the first period on a Mathieu Aubin goal. Andrew Hotham and Mike Pelech were credited with assists.
“You get a goal behind, you can’t get scared, you can’t pout about it, you have to get back out there,” said right winger Kyle Rogers.
In his typical crash-the-net style, Rogers responded by sending the puck off his shin pad just past the goaltender after being tripped by a diving Garret Wilson to knot it up at one with under four minutes to play in the first.
“They always tell you to crash the net and I stepped on the [defenseman’s] stick. I didn’t know it went in until I got up and the guys were celebrating,” he said.
Had the goal not broken the plane, Rogers would have to take a penalty shot, something he said he did not look forward to.
It was the captain’s first goal of the season and Max Campbell and Phil Oreskovic were on the assist.
Wes O’Neil took a pass and fired a laser of a wrist shot over the left-side shoulder of Foster to give Toledo a 2-1 lead with 9:04 to go in the second. On the assists were Broadhurst and Willie Coetzee.
With 5:55 to play in the third, Cincinnati forward Mike Pelech took the rebound off a Mathieu Aubin shot to tie it at two. Brian O’Hanley was also credited with an assist.
“We just finally got it out and we had sort of a slow line change because they were tired and they transitioned and got right back on it and we were caught on a line change as well that if we had our proper numbers out there, that rebound gets picked up by one of our players not one of theirs,” Vitucci said.
Toledo kept their composure for the rest of the period, which included surviving a crucial penalty kill with just over 2 minutes left in the third.
“It was a good effort, nobody gave up, everyone stuck together and that’s what we’re looking for on this team,” Rogers said.
After being on the defense for most of the extra period, Broadhurst blew past his defense and sent the Walleye fans home happy.
Broadhurst is a native or Orland Park, Ill. and played his college hockey at the University of Nebraska –Omaha. He had two assists in eight games with Rockford before being sent down to Toledo.
The Walleye, now having their best start since their return in 2009, will be on the road for the next five games.
“We welcome it. It’s a chance for a young team and an older team to get to know each other,” Vitucci said. “The only worry we have is hanging out with each other and win hockey games.”
The Walleye will face the Kalamazoo Wings on Oct. 20 with the puck scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m.