Toledo scores four unanswered against Cincinnati, moves to first in divisionWritten by Vincent D. Scebbi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
CINCINNATI, Ohio — The Walleye had a few things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving such as 35 saves by goaltender Jordan Pearce, a 4-2 victory over Cincinnati Nov. 21 and a one point lead in the ECHL North Division.
Despite only scoring two goals, the Cyclones kept the pressure up and outshot Toledo 37-25, 18 of them coming in the first period.
“You have to weather that, you have to be very good defensively and we were for the most part and when we weren’t, Jordan Pearce was really good for us,” said head coach Nick Vitucci.
After allowing 18 shots and a goal in the first, Toledo’s defense held the Cyclones to 19
shots on goal for the rest of the night.
But Cincinnati had their chances, included a two-on-one late in the second, but a sliding Ben Youds broke up the pass and the offensive attack.
Pearce’s 17 saves in the first period was a career high for most saves made in a single period.
Toledo’s penalty killing continues to be strong as it held the Cyclones to no power play goals on three attempts. The Walleye are sixth in the ECHL at killing penalties at 86.9 percent.
In addition, the Walleye scored their fifth shorthanded goal of the season in the second period. They are tied for most in the league with four others.
The Cyclones struck first on a David MacDonald goal. The defenseman fired a shot from the back of the right-side faceoff circle that hit Pearce’s glove and got behind him to make it 1-0 with 14:44 left in the first.
Willie Coetzee knotted it up at one apiece after taking a pass from Joey Martin and sending a slap shot to the twine almost halfway through the period.
Toledo took the lead when Terry Broadhurst brought the puck into the Cyclones territory down the left-side boards. He then crossed it to Luke Glendening, who went low on a wrist shot from the right-side faceoff circle with 2:26 left in the first period. Pearce was also credited with an assist.
The Walleye offense kept it going just 3:31 into the second period when Youds fired a shot that got deflected by a Cyclone in the slot and it trickled behind Zoltan Hetenyi to make it 3-1. Captain Kyle Rogers also earned a point for the assist.
With 4:19 left in the middle period, Byron Froese broke up a pass at the Cincinnati blue line, broke away from the defense, then faked the goalie, cut to the left and had an open look to send a backhanded shot in. The goal was Froese’s fifth of the year.
Cincinnati continued to play aggressively in the third period and with seconds left, saw a second puck get past Pearce to make the final score 4-2.
The win moves the Walleye into first place with a one point lead over Cincinnati, who will be looking to earn those two points back Nov. 23 in the Huntington Center.
We’ll go over the video and see where we can learn a little more from them and learn a little more about us, what we’re doing right and wrong as well,” Vitucci said. “For the most part, it will be the same game plan. We’re going to enjoy tomorrow and enjoy Thanksgiving then get back to work on Friday.”
The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:05 p.m.