Toledo led Cincinnati 2-0 after one period and 4-1 after two. The Cyclones charged back with two goals in the third period.
Ultimately the Walleye (13-7-1) held on to win their fourth straight game and vaulted over the Cyclones (12-5-2) to the top of the ECHL North Division.
Each member of the line of Terry Broadhurst, Luke Glendening, and Travis Novak had a goal and an assist.
Toledo took an early 2-0 lead on goals from Novak and Broadhurst. The Cyclones answered with a power play goal late in the opening period.
“We wanted to get on them right away with good speed and energy,” Broadhurst said.
Toledo's Andrej Nestrasil scored midway through the second period. Glendening added another goal late in the middle period. But Cincinnati scored twice in the third period to make it a one-goal game.
“That's to be expected when two teams are playing for first place,” Broadhurst said.
Toledo's Nick Vitucci coached in his 500th regular-season game before a crowd of 6,153 at the Huntington Center.
“The most important thing is the big win tonight. But 500 is a personal thing and I've been very fortunate to have been surrounded by great people for a long time,” said Vitucci, whose career record is 249-210-41.
Rookie goalie Kent Simpson earned the win by making 16 saves. Toledo outshot the Cyclones 38-19.
Broadhurst and Novak also assisted on each others' goals. Novak, who was added to the line after Byron Froese was injured on Friday, scored his first of the season.
“The line has been going well and Novi stepped in great,” Broadhurst said. “He started where Froese left off. We know we're going to get our chances if we work hard.”
Nestrasil also had a two-point game. Nestrasil gave Toledo a 3-1 lead at the game's midpoint with a one- timer on a nice pass from Kyle Rogers.
Glendening, who scored his team-high 12th of the season, also had an assist.
The Walleye play their next three games on the road, beginning today at Evansville. Toledo returns home on Dec. 12 against Wheeling.
“It's satisfying to hold on to the lead against a very good team,” Vitucci said.
FISH TALES: The game featured some nastiness with 17 penalties. Toledo's Phil Rauch was involved in two fights. Rauch got the best of Josh Birkholz in a brief scuffle in a penalty filled first. … The game also featured the annual Teddy Bear Toss as fans tossed stuffed animals on the ice after Novak scored the first goal to support Lucas County Children's Services. … The Hanson Brothers from the movie Slap Shot also made an appearance. … Every Toledo player had at least one shot. ... Toledo scored two goals before Cincinnati got its first shot. ... Broadhurst’s power play goal came with 14 minutes, 29 seconds left in first period. Cincinnati scored on its first shot of the game with 6:36 left in the first period. The power play goal deflected off a Walleye defenseman. ... The teams were tied for second among all ECHL teams in goals allowed at 2.50 per game. … Toledo has won nine of 11. Cincinnati came in on a four-game winning streak. Toledo is 3-1-0 against the Cyclones.
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.