Thursday, Mar 22, 2018
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Walleye outshot, outplayed

Greenville dominates, but only a 2-goal winner


Toledo Walleye player Trevor Parkes (27) watches as the puck gets past Greenville Road Warriors goalie Nic Riopel (29) during the first period at Huntington Center, Friday. At right is Road Warrier Jeff Caister (14).

The Blade/Andy Morrison
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Greenville peppered the Walleye net with 42 shots on Friday night and the Road Warriors put Toledo away with their potent power play.

Greenville converted on three of its six power play chances and skated away with a 4-2 win.

Toledo twice led Greenville by one goal, but Brett Robinson scored the game winner on a power play goal with 8:30 left.

PHOTO GALLERY: Toledo Walleye vs. Greenville

The Road Warriors outshot the Walleye 42-27 before a crowd of 4,810 at the Huntington Center. Greenville had a 13-5 edge in shots in the first and 21-12 advantage in the second.

“They doubled us as far as the effort, too,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said. “They were twice the team we were. We were fortunate to be tied after 40 minutes. We had no business being in it.”

Rob Flick and Christopher Di- Domenico scored for the Walleye. Flick gave the Walleye a 1-0 lead in the first, while DiDomenico made it 2-1 in the second.

Toledo goalie Carter Hutton, who made his 11th consecutive start, was strong again and finished with 38 saves.

“Tonight we ran around a bit,” Hutton said. “We didn’t play very disciplined. Our PK [penalty kill] killed us. The breakdowns got us. We gave up some really good looks and those are back breakers.”

Toledo (8-10-0) had won two straight and six of its last eight coming into the game. The Walleye fell to 6-5-0 at home.

“We worked hard for 60 minutes on Wednesday [4-1 win over Chicago], but I don’t know if we even played five tonight,” Walleye captain Kyle Rogers said. “The only guy out there playing was Hutton and he was great.”

It was the sixth game of an eight-game homestand and Toledo is 4-2-0 so far.

Greenville (11-7-0) got two goals from Marc-Olivier Vallerand and one from Connor Shields. Vallerand scored an empty netter with 1:55 left.

The Road Warriors entered the game with the best power play in the league, converting on 25.7 percent of their chances.

“Those penalties were caused because we were flat, slow, and not working hard,” Vitucci said. “It was just missed assignments [on the goals].”

Entering the game Hutton was 5-1-0 in his last six starts with a 2.18 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. He kept the Walleye it the contest with solid play in the third period.

“He has been fantastic. Phenomenal,” Vitucci said. “Maybe he is even giving us a false sense of security because he’s playing so well.

“Tonight could have been an ugly game.”

DiDomenico gave the Walleye a 2-1 lead with 4:17 left in the second period. DiDomenico was able to beat Nic Riopel (25 saves) with a quick snap shot.

Vallerand tied it with 44.5 seconds left in the second.

On Toledo’s third power play of the first period, Flick beat Riopel for a 1-0 lead. The shot was 16 seconds into Toledo’s man advantage.

Seconds after Flick’s fourth goal of the season, teddy bears flew in the air as fans tossed stuffed animals on the ice. The game was delayed briefly as they were collected for donation to Lucas County Children’s Services.

Greenville tied it at 1 on Shields’ power play goal.

Toledo still sits in third place in the ECHL North Division and has a chance on Saturday night to make ground up on Chicago, which leads the division. The Walleye host the Express at 7 p.m.

“That’s the great thing about playing pro hockey,” Hutton said. “You have to forget about it. We have to go Saturday and it’s a big game in our division.”

FISH TALES: DiDomenico is currently riding a six-game point streak.

Contact Mark Monroe at:, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.

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