Walleye lose second consecutive overtime gameWritten by Vincent D. Scebbi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Similar to last night’s game, the Toledo Walleye and Kalamazoo Wings were tied at the end of regulation.
And also similar to last night, Kalamazoo scored just 20 seconds into the extra time and took the overtime win, this time at the Huntington Center on Feb. 16.
“It’s frustrating when you dominate a game-and-a-half and you only have two points to show for it,” said Walleye head coach Nick Vitucci. “It is what it is and we’ll move on and try to complete a decent weekend tomorrow.”
Vitucci said after a solid first period, the team took their foot “off the pedal.”
“We had a great first period, but after that I didn’t think we were that good,” he said. “We got a good break at the start of the second and got a good break on that goal at the start of the third period. We lost our energy level, I thought, after the first period.”
The Walleye finished the night with 46 shots on goal and Kalamazoo fired 33 shots on Jordan Pearce, who was just sent down from the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Also coming down from the AHL today was Willie Coetzee. Coetzee, who walked into the building around 5:30 p.m., didn’t need much time to get going, scoring the game’s first goal just 2:03 in.
“He’s an added boost to us. We’ve been winning games, but we haven’t been scoring a lot of goals to win it; any time you get a guy like Willie back, it’s a good thing,” Vitucci said.
The Walleye, who had the early lead, almost made it 2-0 with 6:11 left in the second period when Nino Musitelli fired a rebound past Wings goalie Joel Martin, but the shot was waved off due to an interference on the goaltender penalty assessed to Stephan Thorne.
In the third period, however, the Walleye were looking for a similar call on the Wings when Kalamazoo forward Wesley Myron scored while Pearce was lying on his back.
“I can’t comment on that,” Vitucci said. “I’d love to tee off on that, but obviously there are rules that we can’t talk about officiating. I don’t know, there was no rhyme or reason to it. It was good on one end, not good on another so I’m just not going to talk about that.”
Coetzee lit the lamp first after slapping a puck that ricocheted off the boards past Martin. The goal was unassisted and was his 19th of the season.
Kalamazoo evened it at one apiece on a shorthanded goal scored by Nick Sirota. Walleye defenseman Joey Ryan pinched in the offensive zone, but the puck got by him and Sirota won a foot race against Wes O’Neill for the breakaway attempt.
As the second period was expiring, Travis Novak scored a second-chance goal to give the Walleye the 2-1 lead.
With just four seconds to work with, forward Byron Froese won a faceoff in the offensive zone. Martin fired a shot that was originally saved and Novak took the rebound and finished the play from the slot.
“Luckily for me it just dropped in front of the goalie and I had enough time to put it away,” Novak said. “Obviously when there’s a short amount of time, you just try to get a quick shot at the net and hope for a quick bounce.”
Coetzee scored his second goal just 26 seconds into the final period when he fired a shot from the right-side faceoff circle and snuck it past Martin on the near-side goalpost to make it 3-1. Phil Oreskovic and Kyle Rogers picked up assists on the play.
The Wings made the score 3-2 on a Wesley Myron’s power play goal with 12:28 left in regulation. He was able to shoot with Pearce on his back. Aaron Clarke and Alexandre Mallet picked up the assists.
Kalamazoo tied it up 1:41 later on another power play goal. Sam Ftorek fired a shot on Pearce, picked up the rebound and finished the play with assists coming from Myron and Brett Lysak.
The goal came off a too many men on the ice penalty on Toledo just 42 seconds prior to the goal.
Kalamazoo defenseman Yann Sauve scored just 20 seconds into overtime after a communication breakdown led to him being all alone with Pearce. Myron and Mallet picked up assists on the play.
“Two forwards could have talked and made that D-man coming in on the rush. I think we have to work on things in practice,” Coetzee said.
Toledo returns to the ice Feb. 17 when the Walleye host division foe Fort Wayne Komets. The puck is scheduled to drop at 5:05 p.m.
Three hours prior to the game, both clubs’ alumni teams will face off. Fans that purchased tickets for one game will have access to both.
Tags: Toledo Walleye