After squandering leads in the first two periods to defending ECHL champion Reading, the Walleye went up in the third and stayed on top for good with a timely power-play goal.
Toledo forward Louis-Marc Aubry scored the game-winner with 13:17 left to lift Toledo to a 5-3 victory.
The Walleye (10-16-3) have won two of their last three games. Aubry scored on a quick one-timer from the slot on assists from Kevin Lynch and Joe Gleason.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view photos from the game
“I was able to pop in the slot and I wanted the shot so bad I was screaming for it,” Aubry said. “Lynch made a great pass. That was a huge goal. It was a great win. We have to keep going now.”
The Walleye, which went 4-7-1 in December to remain in last place in the North Division, have won two in a row at home.
“Our goal is still to make the playoffs,” Aubry said. “With this stretch we have to give everything. We have to take every game like it's a playoff game.”
Trevor Parkes scored an empty-net goal for the final margin. Aubry, Parkes, and Gleason each had a goal and an assist.
With 7:51 left, Parkes was called for boarding and roughing penalties on the same play.
The Walleye were able to kill off the penalty.
“What a third period we played,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said. “We played simple and hard. We generated offense without giving up all that much. Our guys did a great job killing that penalty.”
With the game tied at 2 after one period, Gleason scored on a long shot to give the Walleye a 3-2 lead. However, Reading tied it 17 seconds later as Sean Wiles scored.
“A few times tonight we scored and then they scored right away,” Aubry said. “You have to stay
focused. We have to fix those little mistakes.”
The Walleye scored on their first shot of the game as Marek Tvrdon tallied his ninth goal on a blast from the top of the slot 2:25 into the game.
However, Reading tied it at 1 as Ryan Cruthers scored on a shot from behind the net that deflected in off of Walleye goalie Hannu Toivonen's legs.
“We had to refocus right away and play good defensively,” Aubry said.
Toledo regained a one-goal lead as defenseman Richard Nedomlel scored on a long shot from just inside the blue line. Reading tied it after catching Toledo on a line change.
Toivonen (5-8-0) made his 11th straight start and finished with 22 saves.
“As a team we've been up and down. But he's been consistently good,” Aubry said of Toivonen. “He has given us a chance to win every night.”
FISH TALES: Reading (15-11-1) fell to 9-3-1 on the road. … Parkes scored his team-leading 16th goal by intercepting and poking it into the empty net. Parkes also collected his team-high 15th assist. … F Ryan Flanigan, who was acquired from Wheeling on Dec. 27, had his first point as a Walleye with an assist on the first goal. … Toledo is 1-1-0 versus Reading. ... They were not whistled for a penalty in the first two periods.