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Published: 4/1/2010

Walleye lose, but qualify for playoffs

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - In their first season, the Toledo Walleye will be participating in the ECHL playoffs.

Despite a 5-4 shootout loss last night to Johnstown, the Walleye picked up a much-needed point in the standings to assure themselves of a postseason spot.

The Walleye needed to earn just one point - their 78th - to qualify for the ECHL American Conference playoffs, meaning a loss in either overtime or in a shootout would have sufficed.

In the shootout, Toledo's Chris Robertson evened the score at 1 on the team's fifth opportunity, and Johnstown could not respond with a goal, sending the shootout to a sixth round. After Toledo's Evan Rankin failed to convert, Johnstown's Jonathan Ralph scored to end the game.

Toledo rallied to take a 4-3 lead on third-period goals by Scooter Smith and Jonathan Carlsson. Johnstown's Jeff Martens responded with a goal at the 13:11 mark to even the score at 4-4.

Evan Rankin scored the Walleye's other two goals, one in the first period, one in the second.

Following Saturday's season finale at home, Johnstown (18-41-11) will move its organization to Greenville, S.C.

Toledo has two regular-season games left - tomorrow and Saturday at Kalamazoo.

TANGUAY HONORED: Walleye forward Maxime Tanguay has been named to the ECHL All-Rookie team, based on voting by league coaches.

In 63 games, Tanguay has 68 points (25 goals and 43 assists).

"I am very excited to win this award," Tanguay said. "I feel the same way I did when I was selected for the All-Star game this year. It is a tremendous honor for me and the entire team."

Game summary on Page 7.



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