Simpson saves 29 as Walleye trump Bakersfield 5-1Written by Vincent D. Scebbi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Walleye netminder Kent Simpson said “not much” was going through his mind after giving up an early goal.
“It’s a game of mistakes and I made one and it went in,” said the rookie goaltender. “I knew I couldn’t let another one in and I just kind of went from there. It’s something you can’t draw on, it’s something that happens, unfortunately, I just tried to move on.”
Following the early goal – scored on the game’s first shot – the rest was all Toledo as the Walleye beat the Bakersfield Condors 5-1 on Jan. 26.
The first shot was the only one to beat Simpson as he stopped the next 29 pucks fired at him.
Walleye head coach Nick Vitucci said similar to how Kalamazoo Wings goaltender Joel Martin played in Toledo last night, Simpson was able to stay focused after allowing the first goal.
“It was great to see that kid settle down right after that and come up with some big saves for us,” Vitucci said.
Leading the way for the Walleye was newcomer Trevor Parkes, who had a goal and two assists. Parkes scored the Walleye’s only goal in last night’s 3-1 loss against the Kalamazoo Wings.
The Parkes-Joey Martin-Andrej Nestrasil line amounted for nine total points tonight. Martin had two goals and an assist and Nestrasil had three assists.
“I’m playing with two pretty skilled players over there. They make stuff happen on the ice all the time,” Martin said. “We kind of have a combination of everything. Nestrasil is a really good playmaker, Parkes has a great shot and I just try to dish them the puck in the middle and we just make offense happen.”
Parkes’ second period goal was on the power play, only Toledo’s second in its last 33 attempts since Dec. 29.
Toledo’s penalty kill was spotless for the second-straight night, killing all three of Bakersfield’s power plays.
The Condors started the final period with 1:31 left on a power play. As the extra-man advantage was closing, Nicholas Tremblay fired a pass from the slot and Simpson used his body to make the save and freeze the puck. Following the faceoff, Toledo was able to clear the puck and allow the penalty to expire.
Bakersfield scored on the first shot of the game when forward Peter Boyd fired a backhanded shot through Kent Simpson’s five-hole and the puck trickled past the goal line just 52 seconds in.
The Walleye evened the game at one apiece when Doug Clarkson took the rebound from a Pat Knowlton shot and buried it past Brian Stewart with 14:42 left in the first.
Since joining the team while Toledo was in Florida, Knowlton has picked up four assists in seven games.
“He showed us enough in three games that we bought a plane ticket and brought him back to Toledo,” Vitucci said. “He’s a nice, nice hockey player and a great example of the door was open a very little bit and he kicked it off its hinges.”
Defenseman Cody Lampl scored the go-ahead goal for Toledo with 1:28 left in the opening period. He brought the puck in from the neutral zone, then ran a quick give-and-go play with forward Andrej Nestrasil to shoot the puck right in front of the net.
The Walleye added to their lead on a power play goal by Trevor Parkes with 8:06 left in the second period. Parkes dove just in front of the crease and slapped the rebound in. Martin and Nestrasil assisted on the play.
“It was just going to the hard places, that’s what you’ve got to do is score goals in this league and anywhere,” Parkes said. “To get to the next level, you’ve got to go to the dirty places, dirty areas of the ice.”
The third period scoring was all done by Martin within a span of 41 seconds.
His first goal came off a rebound by Parkes, who was charging the net, with 9:29 left in regulation. Martin was able to pick up the puck and aiming at a wide-open net.
Goal number two came on an offensive push and Parkes sent a pass from the right wing to Martin, who redirected the puck to the twine. Nestrasil also assisted the play.
Bakersfield tried to make offensive pushes despite being down in the third.
After Lampl was sent to the sin bin for interference with 2:31 left in the game, Bakersfield turned up the pressure on Simpson, but he was able to stop everything thrown at him.
The win snaps a five-game home losing streak for the Walleye and they now have won three in their last four games.
They wrap up their three-game series by hosting the Evansville IceMen. The puck is scheduled to drop at 5 p.m. at the Huntington Center.