Toledo Walleye offense erupts in regular season finale at Wheeling


WHEELING, W.Va. -- The Walleye erupted with eight goals in their regular-season finale tonight.

Toledo scored two goals in the first, three in the second, and added three more in the third to knock off Wheeling 8-5.

It was the second most goals the Walleye have scored in a game this season. They tallied nine at Fort Wayne on Dec. 31.

Joey Martin scored twice and had an assist. Toledo also got goals from Kyle Rogers, Ben Youds, Willie Coetzee, Randy Rowe, Trevor Parkes, and Travis Novak.

Goalie Jordan Pearce gave up four goals on eight shots and was replaced by Kent Simpson, who had 17 saves on 18 shots.

Toledo (37-26-9) trailed 4-2 after the first period but outscored Wheeling 6-1 over the last two periods.

“I was hoping for a better start from our team tonight,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said. “It's hard to fall behind like we did tonight and comeback against any team in our league. We did a great job fighting back in the second period to gain the lead. That’s the kind of hockey we need to play next week.”

The Walleye tied the game at 9:45 when Coetzee sent a perfect shot home for his team-leading 28th goal of the season. Rowe put Toledo in front at 11:32 of the period with his wrist shot.

Parkes put one between the pads of Peter Delmas (27 saves) at 6:31 for his 14th of the year to give a lead they would not relinquish. Novak wristed home a power play goal and then Martin added an empty netter.

The Walleye will face Cincinnati in the opening round of the ECHL playoffs. The Cyclones will have home ice advantage in the best-of-seven series. But the series will start next Friday in Toledo due to conflicts with previously scheduled events in Cincinnati..

FISH TALES: Toledo finished the season 8-1-1 against the Nailers. … The goal by Kyle Rogers set a new career record in points for the captain (46). … Coetzee had three assists, while Youds had two assists.