Walleye fall short, lose in shootout against the WingsWritten by Vincent D. Scebbi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A third-period goal and extra time were not enough for the Toledo Walleye (17-13-2) as they lost in a shootout against the Kalamazoo Wings on Dec. 29.
Down 3-2 with 11:10 left in regulation, center Brent Raedeke took a rebound off a Max Campbell slap shot and put a move past the goaltender and sent a soft backhanded shot to the twine to tie it up.
With no goals scored in the rest of the third and overtime period, fans at the Huntington Center witnessed the team’s first home shootout of the season.
Kalamazoo (12-15-3) scored on its first two attempts and Joel Martin stopped every shot as Kalamazoo claimed the two points.
“It’s really a crap shoot,” said Walleye head coach Nick Vitucci. “Every goalie is different and Joel Martin is obviously a very experienced goaltender and he’s seen a lot of these in his career and it showed in his poise and patience.”
Similar to Toledo’s Dec. 28 game against the Cincinnati Cyclones, the Walleye allowed two goals in a short amount of time and fell behind.
Also like Toledo’s loss against the Cyclones, the Walleye offense out-shot their opponent, sending 33 pucks to the goaltender on Dec. 29.
Vitucci said while the Walleye out-shot Kalamazoo by a double-digit margin, the team needs to play with more tenacity when they do not have the puck.
“We are a skilled team and we’re always going to get opportunities, but away from the puck, I’d like to see us play with more grit and more elbow grease than we did tonight,” he said. “I’d like to see more elbow grease, more grit, taking away the opponent’s time and space.”
Walleye goalie Kent Simpson got the shootout loss and made 17 saves, allowing all three goals in the middle period.
Forward Andrej Nestrasil picked up where he left off before he was called up to the American Hockey League on Dec. 17. He was sent back to Toledo on Dec. 28 and has a goal and an assist in two games, extending his point streak to 10 straight.
“He’s been a great player for us this year and he’s grown into a man out there on the ice and he’s strong on the puck and he’s physical and obviously very creative,” Vitucci said. “When you add that back to your lineup is a plus.”
Since Nov. 30, Nestrasil has recorded two goals and 13 assist.
Terry Broadhurst got Toledo on the board first just 97 seconds into the game. The rookie forward took a pass from Nestrasil that deflected off Adam Hobson and fired a shot that was faster than goaltender Joel Martin.
“I was fortunate enough to get the rebound and fire it in; it was created by the cycle down below,” Broadhurst said.
Kalamazoo got on the scoreboard with 9:38 left in the second period on a goal scored by Alexandre Mallet. Mallet’s initial shot was deflected high in the air by a Toledo defender, but he was able to smack the puck in mid-air and have it bounce past netminder Kent Simpson. Adam Polasek assisted the goal.
Toledo responded less than 40 seconds later on Broadhurst’s second goal of the night. The Walleye were on the power play after a slashing penalty called on Sam Ftorek and Broadhurst sent his own rebound past the goalie to make it 2-1. Hobson got his second assist of the game and Cody Lampl also helped assist the power play goal.
“[Hobson] looked before he touched the puck and saw I was coming there,” Broadhurst said. “We kind of made eye contact and I knew he was going to pass me the puck and the goalie made a good first save and I stuck with it and it went in.”
The next 1:36, however, saw things go south for Toledo.
Kalamazoo tied it up with 9:59 left in the middle period after Kory Karlander scored his seventh goal of the season. Aaron Clarke and Mike Matczak help set up the goal.
Karlander leads the K-Wings against Toledo with seven points (4 goals, 3 assists).
The Wings then took the lead just 55 seconds later when Elgin Reid took a cross pass from Nick Sirota and fired a slapshot past Simpson to make it 3-2 with 7:04 left in the second. Steven Anthony also assisted on the play.
Reaedeke, who scored 11 goals with the Grand Rapids Griffins last season, got his first goal in a Walleye uniform after being sent down on Dec. 28.
Toledo has now lost four games in its last five and will play again Dec. 31 at Fort Wayne. Opening faceoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Tags: Toledo Walleye