Walleye drop game to Evansville

Early lead is lost for a 2nd straight contest


The Walleye took on an ECHL expansion team for the second straight night and took an early lead, then fell once again.

Toledo led Evansville 1-0 in the second period on Saturday night but the Icemen then scored the next four and skated away with a 4-1 win before a crowd of 5,401 at the Huntington Center.

Toledo lost to the expansion Fort Wayne Komets 4-3 on Friday night. The Walleye (4-4-1 overall) had won four of their first six games of the season but have now lost three straight.

The Walleye grabbed a one-goal lead on Byron Froese's second goal of the season. Froese one timed a perfect pass across the front of the goalmouth from Terry Broadhurst 3:13 into the middle period. The marker came after a sharp passing play from Willie Coetzee to Broadhurst to Froese.

The Icemen tied it with a power play goal as Nathan Moon jumped on a rebound to beat Toledo goalie Kent Simpson with 12:29 left in the second period.

“It was a frustrating night,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said. “We missed our opportunity to take control of the game early. We could have come out hard and physical, but we let them be the aggressor and they put us back on our heels.”

It was third game in three nights for the Walleye.

Evansville (2-6-1), which played in the Central Hockey League the last two seasons, won for just the second time this season.

Toledo captain Kyle Rogers said his team was too passive.

“Tonight just seemed like we were a little behind. I don't know if it was because of the [three games in three nights] but we sat back,” Rogers said.

Toledo ended up with a 36-28 edge in shots, including 12-6 in the final period.

“The puck won't always bounce our way,” Rogers said. “So we have to get a little meaner in front of the net.”

Evansville took a 2-1 lead on Todd Robinson's hard slap shot as he capitalized on a two-on-one breakaway with 5:52 left in second. The Icemen added a third goal on Matt Gens' power play marker to seize a 3-1 edge with 8:49 remaining.

“They made us look silly on both of those power play goals,” Vitucci said.

Toledo went 0 for 5 on the power play.

“We had opportunities, we just didn't bang them in,” Vitucci said. “But we didn't challenge their goalie.”

Evansville goalie Rob Madore (1-4-0) had 35 saves.

Toledo has now scored on just three of 34 chances on the power play this season.

“You have to get shots through and guys crashing the net,” Rogers said.

Simpson, who was pulled for the extra attacker with 3:32 left, finished with 24 saves. The Icemen were 2 of 4 on the power play. Toledo had some chances late with 6 on 5 advantage but Dale Mahovsky tallied an empty netter with 1:17 left.

“Tonight our overall effort was disappointing,” Vitucci said.

FISH TALES: In a scoreless first period, the crowd rose to its feet as Toledo defenseman Cody Lampl tussled briefly with Jason Dale. The officials quickly broke up the skirmish. … Walleye F Todd Griffin got into a fight with Daniel Tetrault midway through the second period. ... This was the first of 10 games between the two.

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