Being called up to the American Hockey League is bittersweet for Walleye forward Andy Bohmbach.
Bohmbach was reassigned from Rockford just prior to Toledo's game against Greenville Friday night. The rookie scored a goal in Toledo's 4-3 overtime loss and was immediately called back up to the AHL after the game.
Bohmbach got things rolling for the Walleye with his team-high 19th goal of the season. His one timer gave Toledo a 1-0 lead 3:02 into the game.
The Walleye scored the first two goals but Greenville tallied three unanswered to take the lead. Toledo tied it back up on Evan Rankin's goal with 9:09 left in the third. But the Road Warriors then snapped Toledo's three-game win streak just 27 seconds into OT.
Bohmbach also had an assist to help Toledo (21-20-4) earn a point against one of the top teams in the ECHL before 6,146 fans at the Huntington Center.
"When you are up and down, you'd like to have both teams win," said Bohmbach, who was called up to Rockford on Feb. 5. "But I've been playing here a lot longer so it's a little more emotional down here. It's coming down to the playoffs and we're starting to get tight with Kalamazoo and Cincinnati, so any points help. It's way better than zero."
Dominic Osman also scored, Mike Hedden had two assists and Walleye goalie Joe Palmer finished with 23 saves. But both Kalamazoo and Cincinnati won Friday night and Toledo remains in last in the North Division, two points out of third.
The Walleye completely carried the play early and did not allow a shot against until 10:24 was left in the opening period and they led 2-0.
Toledo's Dominic Osman, left, wrestles with Greenville's Wes Cunningham.
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With the game tied at 2 in the third period Greenville took the lead just 54 seconds into the final stanza scoring on its first shot. But Rankin ripped a slap shot past Greenville goalie Nic Riopel (37 saves) to tie it up. Rankin blasted the shot from near the top of the right circle and it found its way through a crowd. However, Toledo could not cash in on three third-period power plays and went to OT for the eighth time this season.
Seconds into the extra period, Connor Shields sent a long pass up to Shane Harper for a solo break. Harper converted for Greenville (30-17-1), which leads the South Division.
"It's a little disappointing after our first period," Vitucci said. "But little mistakes allowed them to get back in the game. We're playing against a team that's been in first place most of the season and they're there for a reason. Overall it's a big point."
Vitucci said Bohmbach, who is key on the power play and penalty kill, is going back to Rockford this morning. Bohmbach, who represented Toledo in the ECHL all-star game, leads the team with 43 points. He has scored 19 goals and has 24 assists.
"We outplayed one of the best teams in the league," said Bohmbach, who played at the University of Wisconsin. "We got two goals on them early but we just couldn't get that third one. I know all the guys here and things are more comfortable here. But I'm very happy to get the chance to go up there and show the other coaches what I've got."
Andy Bohmbach, left, and Mike Hedden celebrate Bohmbach's first-period goal to put Toledo ahead early.
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The Walleye continue a busy weekend with a game in Johnstown Saturday night against Wheeling. The Nailers are playing 10 of their home games at Johnstown, which no longer has an ECHL franchise. Tomorrow the Walleye will host Kalamazoo at 4 p.m. Vitucci said the team bus could roll into town at 7 in the morning tomorrow and the players will have to be at the Huntington Center at 1 p.m.
"The schedule this weekend is very tough on us and it's another reason why this point tonight was big for us," Vitucci said.
FISH TALES: It was the eighth time Toledo has gone to OT and the Walleye now have a 3-2-3 record. …Every Walleye player had at least one shot except Simon Danis-Pepin. …The team also welcomed back D Jason Lepine and Sebastien Piche from AHL call ups. Piche assisted on Bohmbach's goal. Less than two minutes later, Osman put Toledo up 2-0 on another one timer on a pass from Zach Torquato from behind the net. …Greenville got on the board with its first shot of the game. …Toledo went 0 of 4 on the power play. Vitucci said Greenville's penalty kill unit is frustrating because it gets in shooting lanes and blocks shots. …Toledo outshot Greenville 40-27.
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6354.
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