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Published: Monday, 3/25/2013

Walleye back into ECHL playoffs

Toledo clinches berth when Kalamazoo loses


While not the way they preferred, the Toledo Walleye have qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Toledo lost 2-0 to Reading before a crowd of 7,071 at Huntington Center.

But the Walleye backed into a postseason berth when Kalamazoo lost to Wheeling 3-2 on Sunday. The loss eliminated the K-Wings and ensured a spot for the Walleye, who are six points ahead of Kalamazoo with three games left in the regular.

The best Kalamazoo could do is tie Toledo for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. The Walleye hold the edge in the first tiebreaker, which is overall victories, excluding shootout wins.

Toledo went 0 for 6 on the power play against the first-place Royals.

Goalie Jordan Pearce, who made his first start since March 13, finished with 20 saves.

Reading goalie Riley Gill earned his third shutout by stopping 31 Walleye shots.

Toledo plays Wednesday at Fort Wayne and closes the regular season on Friday at Wheeling. The earliest the playoffs would start is April 3.

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