Wheeling's Cam Fergus and Peter Merth collide along with Toledo's Byron Froese during the game. The Walleye roughed up the Nailers 6-1 in an offensive display.
The Blade/Lori King
The Walleye tallied goals early and often Saturday night as Toledo dominated Wheeling in all aspects, highlighted by the offensive outburst.
Eleven players recorded at least one point as Toledo hammered the Nailers 6-1 at the Huntington Center.
Four players scored goals for the Walleye (8-6-1) who have won four of their last five games.
Luke Glendening and Willie Coetzee each scored two goals as Toledo tallied one power play goal, one shorthanded goal, and four even strength markers.
Captain Kyle Rogers scored 58 seconds into the game and Byron Froese added another minutes later. Goalie Kent Simpson nearly posted his first shutout. Simpson, who also had an assist, did not give up a goal until 1:48 was left and finished with 23 saves.
“A great team effort for an entire 60 minutes and we're proud of it,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said.
Glendening's unassisted goal gave him the team lead with eight goals and made it 5-0 with 18:51 left.
“I think it was a coming out party for everyone,” Glendening said. “I think everyone has been holding their sticks a little tight. I thought tonight guys really came together and the lines were clicking.”
The crowd of 5,516 also roared its approval when three separate fights broke out.
Just 58 seconds after the opening faceoff, Toledo took a 1-0 lead as Rogers one timed a pass from Randy Rowe past Wheeling goalie Patrick Killeen (17 saves).
“I thought we made a statement the first shift when we scored that goal right off the get go,” Vitucci said. “At the start of each period we came out strong and scored a goal.”
The Walleye went up 2-0 on Froese's power play goal. Andrej Nestrasil and Simpson got the assists with 15:44 left in the first. Coetzee added a third goal with 3:01 left in the first period for his sixth goal of the season.
Toledo seized a 4-0 lead as Glendening scored 1:18 into the second period as he capitalized when Killeen couldn't control the puck.
Glendening scored his second straight goal as he finished a solo breakaway with a nifty backhander. Coetzee got his second of the night for a 6-0 cushion with 14:40 left.
Wheeling's Scott Zurevinski ruined Simpson's shutout bid when the Toledo goalie was screened on the shot.
“It's one of those things you want to have but at the same time it's a big win,” Simpson said. “I felt good in there. We were up 3-0 before you could bat an eye and that just helps me feel more comfortable back there and it makes my job easier. I got into a groove.”
It was the largest margin of victory for Toledo this season as Simpson improved to 3-4-1.
Wheeling has played Toledo three straight times, losing all three times by an overall total of 16-6. The Nailers have lost six straight. Toledo, which moved into second place in the North Division, plays at Cincinnati on Wednesday and then hosts the Cyclones on Friday.
“This is what we've hoped for,” Vitucci said. “We're learning what works for us.”
FISH TALES: The three fights had to bring a smile to former Detroit Red Wings enforcer Joey Kocur, who was in attendance. Toledo's Doug Clarkson clobbered Carl Sneep in a third-period fight. Walleye D Phil Oreskovic got into a brief fight with Adam Ross and got the best of the altercation. The Walleye's Joey Ryan squared off with Scott Zurevinski in an even third-period battle. … Toledo native and Olympic silver medalist Erik Kynard dropped the ceremonial puck.
Contact Mark Monroe at: email@example.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.