TOLEDO, OH – The Toledo Walleye continue their road trip as they roll into Adirondack to begin a two-game series with the Thunder. Both teams are coming off of losses: Toledo lets a 3-1 lead against Reading slip away late last night to lose 4-3 in overtime, while the Thunder dropped a 6-4 decision against the Swamp Rabbits on Tuesday. One interesting note, this is the first time the teams have played each other since 2015, and will also be the first time that Toledo has played in Glens Falls. Prior to tonight’s contest, let’s see how the teams stack up.
League Standing: Ninth with 5 points
Western Conference Standing: Sixth out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: Third out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 2.75, with 11 goals scored tied for 18th
Goals Against Average: 2.50, with ten goals allowed tied for seventh
Power Play: 7.7%, percentage is tied for 23rd – one power play goal on 13 PP opportunities
Penalty Kill: 93.3%, ranking fifth with one power play goal allowed on 15 penalty kills.
League Standing: 12th with five points
Eastern Conference Standing: Fifth out of 13 teams
North Division Standing: Fourth out of six teams
Goals Scored Average: 4.75, with 19 goals scored tied for third
Goals Against Average: 5.00, with 20 goals allowed tied for 22nd
Power Play: 20.0%, percentage is tied for ninth, have four power play goals on 20 PP opportunities
Penalty Kill: 77.8%, percentage is ranked 22nd with four power play goals allowed on 18 penalty kills
Toledo Walleye: With Matěj Machovský still day-to-day, Toledo released their emergency back up goaltender (EBUG) Kent Nusbaum last weekend and signed journeyman goaltender J.P. Anderson to a standard players contract. Expect Anderson to get the start tonight in Adirondack. Earlier this week, defenseman (D) Vili Saarijarvi and veteran forward (F) Kyle Bonis were called up to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins and Iowa Wild respectively. Defenseman Parker Reno was inserted into the lineup to fill Saarijarvi’s gap, and Alden Hirschfeld returned to the lineup from injury to replace Bonis.
Adirondack Thunder: The Thunder have also made a considerable number of moves recently. Departing Glens Falls are EBUG Nick Niedert (released), forward Caleb Cameron (waived), and defenseman Tim Boyle (waived). Now for the new arrivals; taking Niedert’s place on the team is a goaltender beginning his second stint with the Thunder, Drew Fielding, who was in Toledo’s training camp roster last season. Shane Conacher (F) was assigned to the Thunder by Syracuse, while Colton White (D) was sent down from Binghamton by the New Jersey Devils.
Toledo looks to rebound from what looked like a win last night in Reading, before the Royals stole the show. Tough loss, but one that gives an excellent opportunity to learn and grow as a team. Anderson will most likely get his first start as a Walleye tonight against a Thunder squad that can put the puck in the net, so the Toledo defense will have to be sharp and support their netminder. In an interesting special teams match up, Toledo’s dominant penalty kill goes up against a dangerous Adirondack power play unit, while a shaky Thunder penalty kill is matched by a Walleye power play looking to return to last year’s form. The departure of Bonis didn’t seem to throw off the Toledo offense, as the big-bodied Hilbrich scores his first two goals with the team against the Royals and looks to stay hot in Adirondack. He’ll have to get it past Nick Riopel, the former K-Wing who has started all four games for Adirondack but has a subpar save percentage of 0.863. This series could end up being a rather high scoring affair on both sides, which means plenty of exciting hockey for the fans.
Tune in at 7:00 pm EDT time, as ECHL.TV will broadcast the game on the ECHL Facebook page free of charge as the ECHL.TV Showcase Game!