The Walleye's Wes O'Neill tries to get the puck against Orlando's Dan Gendur left, and Mathew Sisca.
In a wild game at a packed Huntington Center, the Walleye dominated much of the play but a brief letdown ultimately led to a loss in a contest that went to the shootout.
Toledo saw a two-game winning streak end, losing 4-3 to the Solar Bears before a sellout crowd of 7,823.
After building an early two-goal lead Toledo gave up three unanswered goals before rallying to tie it at 3.
Terry Broadhurst was the only player for the Walleye to score in the shootout. Toledo goalie Kent Simpson stopped two skaters in the shootout but Dan Gendur scored the game winner.
Three Solar Bears beat Simpson, while only Broadhurst scored on Orlando goalie John Curry, who finished with 39 saves overall.
Toledo scored two goals in the first period when the Walleye sent a whopping 24 shots on net — setting a new high for shots in a period. Forwards Brandon Svendsen and Kyle Rogers gave Toledo the early edge.
The Solar Bears scored three straight to seize a 3-2 lead after a bad turnover led to a two on none breakaway. Simpson (17 saves) had no chance on Ryan Reaves' one-timer. Broadhurst could not handle a pass on Orlando's blue line, leading to the odd man rush.
Walleye defenseman Cody Lampl tied it at 3 late in the second period.
“We had a little hiccup in the second when we didn't get the puck in deep and it cost us tonight,” Lampl said. “We went up 2-0 but we gave up the next goal and that was a big sting there because you put [24 shots] on goal and it's only 2-1.”
Lampl's snap shot came on an assist by Joey Martin with 2:10 left in second period.
Orlando goaltender John Curry looks back as Walleye and Solar Bears collide into the net in Saturday night's game at the Huntington Center.
The Walleye (19-13-3) outshot the Solar Bears 42-20. Every Toledo player had at least one shot on goal.
“As much as we outworked them in the first, they returned the favor and outworked us in the second,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said.
Orlando had just two shots in the final period and none in regulation. The Solar Bears outshot Toledo 13-7 in the second and scored three goals in a span of about 20 minutes.
“Part of our game plan was to jump on them early and we did in the first period,” Vitucci said. “You hope you get a few more goals and ice it away but goaltenders give a team a chance to win and [Curry] did.
"They took control in the second. I don't know that we let down, they picked it up. We might have gotten a little too cute and didn't put enough shots on goal. Sometimes there is another team."
Toledo went 0 of 4 on the power play, while Orlando was 0 of 1.
Lampl said the defensive corps did a nice job to limit shots.
“All those guys are veterans and we got hard play from our defensemen,” Lampl said. “It would have been nice to jump on them but it's nice that we battled back to at least get a point out of it.”
The Walleye host Kalamazoo Sunday at 5:05 p.m. The first 2,000 fans at the Huntington Center will receive a Spike "bobble-body."
FISH TALES: The Walleye players wore Boy Scout-themed uniforms as more than 300 scouts were in attendance. … It was the second game of a six-game road trip for Orlando. … Walleye D Olivier Dame-Malka is expected to be in Walleye lineup on Sunday. Dame-Malka was acquired in a trade with Bakersfield on Dec. 31 in exchange for F Max Campbell. Dame-Malka was serving a three-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head. … Svendsen, a former Bowling Green State University forward, was assigned to Toledo on Dec. 18. It was his first home game. Svendsen has a goal and three assists. ... Orlando's Josh Caron gots the best of Toledo's Stephon Thorne in a first-period fight. ... The Solar Bears got their first shot of the period with 8:50 left. Toledo led 15-1 in shots on goal at the time.
Contact Mark Monroe at: email@example.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.
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