GLENS FALLS, NY – After an impressive home opener win against the Quad City Mallards, the Toledo Walleye started a four-game road trip on Thursday night on the road against the Reading Royals.
After a scoreless first period, Toledo would get on the board just 62 seconds into the middle stanza, when Christian Hilbrich would score his first goal in a Toledo uniform on a tip from a shot off of Walleye defenseman Parker Reno. Reading would respond quickly as Mark Naclerio would score at 5:14 of the period on a breakaway, his first goal in a Royals uniform. Hilbrich would continue his scoring giving Toledo it’s lead back at 11:25 into the second period on another tip.
Building off his positive start to the season, Connor Crisp would continue to impress scoring early in the third period at 4:23 of the period to make it a two-goal lead for Toledo. Royals forward Chris McCarthy would level the game once more on the power play after a Crisp slashing call. Only a minute later after scoring his first goal, McCarthy would net his second goal of the game to tie the game. The Walleye would be outshot by Reading 14-3 in the third period.
After an entertaining overtime, new Royals forward Alex Krushelnyski would play hero scoring late into overtime at 4:27 of the period after a bad Hilbrich turnover on the play.
After giving the game away on Thursday, Toledo traveled to Glens Falls, New York for the first time for a weekend series with the Adirondack Thunder on Friday night.
From the start, Adirondack controlled the first period and Adirondack would dent the scoreboard late in the first period when Shane Conacher would score his first goal of the year on a shot ECHL journeyman goalie J.P. Anderson saw all the way after Toledo couldn’t clear the zone. Anderson made his Toledo debut Friday night after Pat Nagle started the last two games.
Always productive Toledo forward Shane Berschbach would tie the game for Toledo at 3:19 into the second period. From that point on though, Adirondack would start to dominate the second period as Brian Ward would get the Thunder lead back on a goal that would just slide past Anderson into the back of the net. Only minutes later at 4:58 of the period, Pierre-Luc Mercier would score his first professional goal from a crisp passing from Thunder forward J.C. Campagna. After Toledo continued to struggle again to clear the puck in their zone, Desmond Bergin would score right on in front making it 4-1. After Toledo’s defenseman Davis Vandane couldn’t clear the puck, Terrance Wallin would make it 5-1 Adirondack. A second period filled with shaky goaltending and sloppy defense.
With that said, Toledo played much better in the third period as Simon Denis would score at 11:05 into the period. Alden Hirschfeld would score on a rebound shot with just over five minutes left in the game. Overall, Friday’s third period was much improved over Thursday’s, Toledo outshot Adirondack 10-3, but it was too-little-too-late as Thunder goalie Drew Fielding would stop what he needed to and played well all night.
It’s still very early in the year, but, Toledo has work to do in cleaning up their game and showing poise when they have the lead. The Walleye’s road trip continues tonight with another game against the Adirondack Thunder, before closing out the road trip on Tuesday night against the Worcester Railers.
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