During his time in the American Hockey League, Trevor Parkes explained that he has developed a style of game suited to a defensive forward.
Yet in his time back in the ECHL, Parkes has unleashed his inner scoring monster. The forward’s three goals helped propel the Walleye to a 7-1 win over Evansville and helped the Toledo Walleye snap a four-game winless streak.
“I’m trying to use my big size and my speed, and that’s what’s going to get me to the next level,” said the 6-foot-2, 202-pound Parkes. “When I’m up in the AHL, I’m playing a different role, more of a checking-line type guy. When I’m down here, it’s nice to have that opportunity, to play more offensive, which I’m used to, coming from juniors. It’s nice when the puck goes in the net.
“Sometimes stuff doesn’t go in, whatever you do, but tonight, the puck went in off my stick and you enjoy it while you can.”
Since returning to the Walleye from Grand Rapids of the AHL on Feb. 27, Parkes has scored five goals in the last three games, and his hat trick Saturday paced the Walleye’s rout of the IceMen at the Huntington Center.
By comparison, Parkes has three goals in 34 AHL games this season.
Parkes tied the game at 1 less than nine minutes into the first when he re-directed Byron Froese’s shot from the point past Evansville goalie Paul Karpowich (30 saves), then scored his second and third goals in a five-minute stretch in the second period.
After the Walleye killed off a penalty for objects on the ice, Parkes beat Karpowich on a backhand shot on the ensuing rush at 13:53 of the second.
Parkes completed the hat trick three minutes later on a play nearly identical to his first goal, screening Karpowich and tipping Froese’s shot into the goal.
“You gotta get into dirty areas to score goals, and that’s my job,” said Parkes, who has seven ECHL goals this season.
Also helping Parkes’ prowess was Toledo’s defensive efforts, which ultimately translated into offense; the Walleye allowed Evansville 10 shots on goalie Jordan Pearce (20 saves) in the first and second periods.
“We were a puck-possession team throughout this game and because it’s in our hands and not in theirs, it’s going to allow us more time in their zone and less time in ours,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said.
Evansville took a 1-0 lead on Daniel Tetrault’s goal at 7:40, but in a stretch of 22 seconds, Parkes and Froese scored two of the Walleye’s seven unanswered goals.
Willie Coetzee gave the Walleye a 3-1 lead midway through the second when he picked up the rebound off Parkes’ shot from the right circle on a two-on-one against Karpowich and fired into an open net to give the Walleye a 3-1 lead.
After Parkes’ second and third goals gave the Walleye a 5-1 lead, Nino Musitelli and Travis Novak scored for Toledo in the third.
FISH TALES: Vitucci estimated that his team blocked at least a dozen shots by Evansville in the win over Evansville, a key part in the Walleye’s defensive effort. … Toledo finished 3 for 6 on the power play — Parkes scored two man-advantage goals while Musitelli added the third. … Toledo’s seven goals in a game was its highest output since Dec. 31, when the Walleye scored nine in a win at Fort Wayne. … The Walleye’s “Pink In The Rink” weekend for breast cancer awareness continues today when the Walleye host Trenton at 5:05 p.m. at the Huntington Center.
Contact Rachel Lenzi at: email@example.com, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.