In a season where much has gone wrong, everything went right for the Walleye on Sunday.
Seven different players scored goals as Toledo blasted Wheeling 7-0. In the complete-team effort, goalie Hannu Toivonen recorded his first shutout with 33 saves before a crowd of 5,888 at the Huntington Center.
Toledo had given up seven goals in four games this season, but nearly matched a franchise high in goals scored.
“It feels good to be on the winning side of this and not the losing side,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said. “We don't have a lot of experience with this kind of thing.
"This was a complete game. A goalie didn't steal one or just one player didn't carry the load. Everyone contributed.”
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Richard Nedomlel, David Gilbert, Aaron Clarke, Trevor Parkes, Louis-Marc Aubry, Kyle Rogers, and Travis Novak all scored for the Walleye. Nedomlel, Gilbert, and Novak also each had two assists.
“It's fun to see all three lines contribute,” Gilbert said. “We would have good games but one line would do the scoring. So it's all positive for us.”
Toledo (12-18-3) defeated the Nailers (15-14-6) for the second straight night.
The Walleye peppered the Wheeling net with 41 shots. Eleven Walleye players recorded at least one point.
Toivonen, who improved to 7-8-0, made 12 stops in the first, 11 in the second, and 10 in the third.
“It was a team shutout,” he said. “The team played well in front of me and made my job easy today. We deserved the zero on the board.”
The franchise high for goals in a game was set on Dec. 30, 2012, when Toledo beat Fort Wayne 9-4.
The most scored by the Walleye at home was eight on two occasions in January of 2011.
“It was a full-team shutout,” Vitucci said. “Hannu was good when called upon but his opportunities weren't as many.”
Playing their third game in three nights, the Walleye scored on Nedomlel's shot from the point 4:49 in. Gilbert scored his ninth on a rebound.
A scuffle broke out late in the first as Walleye defenseman Phil Rauch squared off against Shane Bakker. The pair exchanged a flurry of rights.
Newly acquired forward Clarke then gave Toledo a 3-0 lead 2:11 into the second. Clarke, who also scored in Toledo's 5-3 win at Wheeling on Saturday, has two goals in three games.
Parkes, who was reassigned from Grand Rapids earlier in the day, scored his team-high 17th goal to make it 4-0 by knocking in his own rebound. Aubry tipped in a shot for a 5-0 cushion late in the second.
Bakker got into his second fight as the 6-foot-4 forward took on the gutsy Emerson Clark (5-10).
Wheeling, which has lost five in a row, replaced goalie Mike Condon (23 saves) with Brooks Ostergard (11), but it did not matter as Rogers made it 6-0 just 1:06 into the third. Novak added the seventh with an unassisted goal on a solo breakaway.
“We know we can score goals,” Gilbert said. “We just need to put it together.”
Toledo plays at Reading on Friday and Saturday. The Walleye return home Jan. 24 to face the Nailers.
Toivonen said he believes the team has turned the corner.
“As long as we play as solid as we did [Saturday and Sunday] … we can rise in the standings,” he said.
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.