Walleye Feast on Wings in Preseason Opener
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Conference champion Toledo Walleye tallied three power play goals en route to a 6-2 victory in their preseason opener against the Kalamazoo Wings on Friday at Wings Event Center.
Josh Kestner put the Walleye in front for good with a power play goal in addition to a pair of assists, while Zack Phillips added a shorthanded marker before dishing out two helpers. Brett Boeing and Tyler Spezia each recorded a power play goal and an assist, while Abbott Girduckis bookended the scoring. In all, Toledo finished 3-for-6 on the man advantage, while Kalamazoo converted on one of five opportunities.
The Walleye carried the play to begin the contest, and were rewarded 9:52 into the opening period when Girduckis jammed a rebound past Jake Hildebrand to give the visitors a 1-0 edge. The 6-foot-2 forward notched five points (3-2-5) in seven games with Toledo at the tail end of the 2018-19 campaign after completing his collegiate career at R.I.T.
Kalamazoo evened the score on a 5-on-3 power play at the 11:51 mark of the first frame, but the Walleye reclaimed the lead with a shorthanded goal 1:06 later. After Cory Dunn's stick broke when he attempted a one-timer, Phillips capped an odd-man rush at the other end by placing a shot under the crossbar.
The Wings evened the score a second time with 4:17 gone the middle period, but the Walleye jumped back in front on the second half of a double-minor moments later. While Zane Jones served four minutes for a high-sticking infraction, Spezia and Phillips combined to set up Kestner in front at 8:23 to lift Toledo to a 3-2 lead.
The Walleye continued to capitalize on Kalamazoo's lack of discipline, as Spezia added a power play goal of his own when he slid a shot through Hildebrand's five-hole at the 13:35 mark to extend the margin to 4-2 heading into the second intermission.
Cody Sol marked his first appearance in a Walleye uniform by dropping the gloves against Kalamazoo rookie Garrison Sanipass nearly three minutes into the final stanza. Moments later, the visitors added their third and final power play goal of the night when Boeing redirected a shot past Hildebrand at 5:56. With Toledo ahead by a 5-2 count, the Wings opted to pull Hildebrand in the latter stages, only for Girduckis to bury his second goal of the contest into the vacated net with exactly 60 seconds to play.
Kaden Fulcher stopped 26-of-28 shots to earn the win, while Hildebrand turned away 26-of-31 in a losing cause.
The Walleye return to the Huntington Center on Saturday to wrap up their preseason home-and-home set with Kalamazoo. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
• Discuss this story on the ECHL message board...
ECHL Stories from October 4, 2019
- Komets Win Wild One in Overtime to Open Preseason - Wheeling Nailers
- Mavs Drop Preseason Exhibition to Allen in OT, 3-2 - Kansas City Mavericks
- Miscues Cost Swamp Rabbits in Preseason Opener - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- 'Blades Rally Falls Short in Preseason Opener - Florida Everblades
- Stingrays Skate by Greenvile in Preseason Opener - South Carolina Stingrays
- Walleye Feast on Wings in Preseason Opener - Toledo Walleye
- Offensive Third Period Propels Indy Past the Cyclones - Indy Fuel
- Royals and Thunder Duke It out in 3rd, ADK Takes It in OT - Reading Royals
- Thunder Knock off Royals in Overtime, 3-2 - Adirondack Thunder
- Game Preview: Solar Bears at Everblades - Orlando Solar Bears
- Lineups Announced for "Black and White Intrasquad Game" - Rapid City Rush
- Rays Announce Training Camp Roster Updates - South Carolina Stingrays
- Growlers Announce Training Camp Roster Adjustments - Newfoundland Growlers
- Walleye Celebrate Hockey Heritage Night During Opening Weekend - Toledo Walleye
- Stingrays Announce Schedule Updates - South Carolina Stingrays
- Forward Sam Kurker Agrees to Terms with Indy - Indy Fuel
- Rush Receive Reinforcements from Tucson - Rapid City Rush
- Solar Bears Announce Schedule Updates - Orlando Solar Bears
- Former Maverick Carter Verhaeghe Makes NHL Debut with Tampa Bay Lightning - Kansas City Mavericks
- Schedule Announced for ECHL.TV Showcase Game on Facebook Watch - ECHL
- Forward Conor Riley Makes Return to Thunder - Adirondack Thunder
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.