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Encouraging moments on the ice have been hard to come by for the Walleye this season so two quick goals seemed like a late Christmas present on Monday night.
Toledo scored twice before Kalamazoo had its first shot on goal and the quick start propelled the Walleye to a 3-2 win over the Wings. Toledo (9-15-3) snapped a three-game losing streak before a crowd of 5,293 at the Huntington Center.
PHOTO GALLERY: Walleye win over Kalamazoo
The Walleye took a 1-0 lead 1:47 into the game as Kyle Rogers scored on a rebound. Toledo seized a 2-0 lead on Pat Mullane's power play goal 3:49 into game.
Trevor Parkes, the team's leading scorer who finished with three points, had two assists before the Wings had a shot on goal.
“We haven't had that luxury in a long time. So it was nice,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said. “We're a low hockey club right now, so any positives is all for the better.”
Kalamazoo scored a shorthanded goal to cut the deficit to 2-1. The Wings tied it up on an unassisted goal 2:26 into the second as Yannick Veilleux got a solo breakaway off of a turnover.
Parkes got the eventual game-winner with a highlight-reel goal with 8:29 left in the second. Parkes first slipped and recovered. He got around Wings defenseman Elgin Reid then had the patience to get goalie Jordan Binnington on his back and lifted the puck over him.
“I just tried to beat the guy to the net and then I tried to hold on to it for as long as I could and wait out the goalie,” Parkes said. “You just blackout in the moment. It's just one of those things you practice and it might happen once in a year.”
“If they had the ESPYs for our league that would have to be No. 1,” Vitucci said. “As a hockey fan I like to be wowed like that every now and then.”
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Parkes and David Gilbert assisted on Rogers' early goal. Parkes intercepted a clearing pass to set up the pressure. Gilbert's shot then deflected off of the post and Rogers slammed it home.
“That was big for us because every game we've been down two or three goals and fighting back,” Parkes said. “It was nice to get a couple early. The boys were ready to go.”
A big rebound allowed by Binnington on Kevin Lynch's shot led to Mullane's marker.
Walleye goalie Hannu Toivonen (4-7-0), who made his ninth straight start, finished with 33 saves. He was particularly strong late in the second. He also stopped four shots on a late Kalamazoo power play.
“Hannu was fantastic,” Vitucci said. “He has given us a chance to win every night.”
TRADE MADE: The team traded F Scott Arnold to Greenville on Monday in exchange for F Brett Perlini.
Arnold was the Walleye's fourth leading scorer with 12 points. Arnold, 24, scored seven goals and had five assists in 25 games with Toledo in his second pro season.
“Scott Arnold was not the problem here by any means,” Vitucci said. “But where we are right now a change to make a change is something we're looking to do. We lose a heck of a person. We just felt things weren't working and we hoped a new influx is what the doctor ordered.”
Perlini, who was drafted by Anaheim in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL draft, has five points (two goals and three assists) in 17 games with Greenville. Last year, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario played in 39 games with Bakersfield (7 G, 13 A) in his first pro season.
Perlini, 23, played at Michigan State University.