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Saturday, December 20, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 3/2/2014 - Updated: 9 months ago

Close, but another Walleye loss

Skid hits 10 straight, 2nd in a row for new coach Watson

BLADE STAFF
Greenville goalie Jeff Malcolm makes a stop despite the efforts of Toledo’s Kyle Rogers, left, and Maxim Shalunov. Malcolm finished with 30 saves in the win. Greenville goalie Jeff Malcolm makes a stop despite the efforts of Toledo’s Kyle Rogers, left, and Maxim Shalunov. Malcolm finished with 30 saves in the win.
BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge

A fan leaving Sunday's Walleye game quipped that at least the team handed out crying towels as a giveaway item.

Toledo rallied with two quick goals in the third period but still saw its season-high losing streak extend to 10 games. Those in the crowd of 5,235 at the Huntington Center received pink towels as part of the organization's Pink in the Rink weekend event and then saw Toledo lose 5-2 to Greenville.

The Walleye (16-33-4) dropped a season-high seven straight games at home as well.

The Road Warriors (31-20-5) scored one goal in the first period and added two more in the second. The Walleye answered with two goals 54 seconds apart to make it 3-2.

Toledo scored its first goal when former Greenville player Brett Perlini scored on an assist from Matt Abercrombie to make it 3-1 with 11:14 left in the game.

“It was nice at the time when it started the comeback,” said Perlini, who scored his first goal for Toledo since being acquired in a trade on Jan. 20. “But it's bittersweet because it got deflated and we weren't able to finish it. But it did get me off the schneid. It's always nice against your former team and coach.”

Toledo's Aaron Clarke scored his 17th goal of the season less than a minute after Perlini's goal to make it 3-2 with 10:20 left in regulation.

However, Greenville's Josh Nicholls scored with 7:06 left and Scott Arnold added another for the Road Warriors with 1:04 to go.

“I thought we came out and had a great start to the third period,” Walleye interim coach Dan Watson said. “It's easy to quit. It's easy to get down 3-0 with not a lot to play for and shut it down. We were able to sustain some pressure in the offensive zone and play hard.”

Walleye goalie Mac Carruth (8-15-0) finished with 33 saves. Toledo was outshot 38-32.

Ironically, Arnold was the player who was traded for Perlini. He also scored the tying goal and assisted on the winning goal in Greenville's 3-1 win over Toledo on Saturday. Emerson Clark, who also played for Toledo before being traded, scored the game winner Saturday.

“You know they will come out and play hard, especially here in Toledo,” Watson said “They spent a lot of time here and you knew they would be hungry to compete. And they did that.”

Perlini, who had a team-high six shots, beat Greenville goalie Jeff Malcolm to get the Walleye on the board against his former team.

“That's been fantastic because he's working so hard,” Watson said. “As he gets more confidence he is going to be a dynamic offensive player. He competes and he has a knack for the net.”

Clarke tipped in a shot from Kevin Lynch to pull Toledo within one goal.

“We knew coming into the third we needed a push in the first five minutes and the energy really cranked up there,” Watson said. “If we play like that to start the game we will see better results.”

It was the second game behind the bench for Watson. The former Walleye assistant took over for Nick Vitucci when he resigned Tuesday. Watson said his team played with good energy but had too many giveaways — a season-long problem.

'“It's been a good transition,” Perlini said. “Dan is coming in with energy and passion. We can feed off that as players. He wants us to play hard and get to the next level. So it's been positive.”

Toledo has not won a game since Feb. 7 at Cincinnati. The Walleye host South Carolina on Wednesday.

The ice was colored pink for the annual event, promoting breast cancer awareness. Watson called the Pink in the Rink weekend an unbelievable event.

“I'm sure almost everyone has had something to do with cancer with relatives or friends that have passed away from or beaten cancer,” he said. “The Walleye do a great job promoting it and it's nice to see the fans get behind it as well.”

FISH TALES: Three fights broke out during the game. … Greenville took a 1-0 lead with 6:45 left in the first period when Lindsay Sparks scored. Jordie Johnston made it 2-0 on a long shot near the midpoint of the second before Andrew Rowe scored to put Greenville up 3-0.

Contact Mark Monroe at: mmonroe@theblade.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.



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