TOLEDO, OH – After starting the year slow, the Indy Fuel had been improving as the end of the season neared. They were, at one time, winners of 7-out-of-10 and were looking to close out the year strong in Toledo on Saturday night.
Toledo had other options.
Toledo started the scoring and their dominance early as Beau Schmitz would score only a minute into the game on a nice pass from Shane Berschbach. Dane Walters would score his first goal of the game at 11:22 with another assist from Berschbach, an assist that would give him the most points in Toledo Walleye history.
On a bad rebound given up by Eric Levine, Alex Globke would chip it in to make 3-0. After a slower start to the year, Globke has now 3 goals in two games. Toledo still wasn’t done as Evan Rankin would score at 15:17 of the period on a bad bobble with the puck by Indy’s goalie Levine. After one period, Toledo was up 4-0 while badly outshooting the Fuel 17-5.
Things would be more of the same for Toledo in the second as Dane Walters would continue his scoring at 4:13 of the period. Walters would get a hat-trick at 10:09 of the period from a spinning Nolan Zajac along with some poor Fuel defense. Walters would end the night scoring his fifth goal of the night at 17:41 of the period, on a pass from J.P. LaFontaine that found Walters out in front, who would only be the second Walleye player ever to reach five goals in a game. Evan Rankin has done it twice. After two periods, it would be 8-0 Toledo.
After the Fuel would pull Levine to start the period, Toledo would now not slow up as Tylor Spink would score on the first shot Indy’s Jake Hildebrand would see after Levine was pulled. Toledo finished there scoring and got to double digits on the night as J.P. Lafontaine would score on a shot that Hilbrand saw all the way. Toledo would eventually win 10-0.
As we’ve seen before, Toledo can really roll some nights while it seemed the Fuel checked out Saturday Night. With the win, the Walleye captured their second Brabham Cup in their history and first since 2015. Toledo finishes the year at 51-17-2, the best regular season ever in Toledo Walleye history. The Fuel ended the year to a disappointing 23-42-3. Toledo opens up the Kelly Cup playoffs with the Kalamazoo Wings this Friday.