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Published: Friday, 4/19/2013

Numerous Walleye called up to AHL clubs

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Following the end of the Toledo Walleye’s season, a handful of players have been called up to help American Hockey League teams.

Forwards Willie Coetzee, Andrej Nestrasil, and Trevor Parkes, along with defenseman Max Nicastro and goaltender Jordan Pearce were promoted to Grand Rapids on Friday.

Goalie Kent Simpson was called up to Rockford on Wednesday.

Grand Rapids, the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, has clinched a playoff spot.

Rockford, the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, is still looking to earn a berth with one regular season games left today.

The Walleye have dual affiliations with the Red Wings and Blackhawks.

Coetzee, 22, led the Walleye in the regular season in points, goals, and assists. Coetzee finished with 68 points (28 goals, 40 assists) in 64 contests. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native had four assists in six playoff games.

Nestrasil, 22, split his second professional season between Grand Rapids (22 games) and Toledo (40). He had 41 points (11 G, 30 A) with the Walleye. Nestrasil had three points in four postseason appearances with Toledo.

Parkes, 21, racked up 30 points (14 G, 16 A) in 19 games with Toledo this season and tied for second on the club with five points (3 G, 2 A) in six playoff contests.

Nicastro, 23, recorded five points (2 G, 3 A) in nine games with the Walleye and had one goal in four postseason games.

Pearce, 26, made 31 appearances with the Walleye this season. He posted a 15-13-1 record and a 2.76 goals-against average. The fourth-year pro from Anchorage, Alaska, has a 34-36-2 record, a 3.35 GAA and five shutouts in 78 outings with Toledo since 2009. Pearce went 2-0-1 with a 1.95 GAA in three playoff games for the Walleye.

Simpson, 21, played in 41 games for the Walleye. The Edmonton, Alberta, native went 20-14-5 with a 2.36 GAA.

Simpson was promoted to Rockford after former Walleye goalie Carter Hutton was called up to Chicago. Hutton played in 14 games for the Walleye in 2011-12 and had a 7-7-0 record with a 3.15 GAA.

Grand Rapids has clinched its first playoff appearance since 2008-09 and could still win the Midwest Division title.

Entering play on Friday, Rockford was tied with Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the AHL’s Western Conference. Milwaukee still has a game in hand on the IceHogs.



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