Walleye goalie Pearce called up to AHL


Walleye goaltender Jordan Pearce was called up Monday to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

Toledo has lost both of its starting goalies to promotions to the AHL. Rookie Kent Simpson was called up Sunday to Rockford.

The Walleye are off for four days due to the ECHL all-star break.

Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said he is not too concerned. He said injuries at the higher levels led to the call-ups. But he said he also has made initial contact with potential replacement goalies.

“I'm pretty sure we will get at least one back by Friday, but if not I've got some irons in the fire,” he said. “We will wait to see what happens in the next 24 to 48 hours. We're playing it by ear.”

Simpson is expected to return when Toledo returns to action at home against Kalamazoo.

Pearce, 26, was called up to Grand Rapids to replace former Walleye goalie Thomas McCollum. McCollum was promoted to Detroit to replace injured Jonas Gustavsson, who is day-to-day with a groin injury.

Pearce, who began his career in Toledo in 2009-10, has started in more games in goal for the Walleye than any other player. He has played in 20 games this season and has a 11-7-1 record with a 2.56 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.

The Anchorage native has two shutouts this season.

He has five total shutouts in his career with the Walleye, which is a franchise record.

Pearce started this season in Grand Rapids and had a 0-3-0 record with a 4.38 GAA.

Simpson, 20, started Monday for Rockford and made 29 saves but gave up five goals.

In 20 appearances with the Walleye, Simpson has posted an 8-8-3 record with an .885 save percentage and a 2.85 GAA.

Vitucci said he expects the injuries at the higher levels to be short term.

The Walleye have three home games this weekend beginning Friday against Kalamazoo.