CINCINNATI – The Walleye kept their season alive once again and guaranteed at least one more home game with a clutch 3-1 victory over Cincinnati tonight.
Toledo had trailed three games to none in the best-of-seven ECHL opening-round playoff series. But the Walleye won two games in a row at U.S. Bank Arena to make it a 3-2 series. Game 6 is set for Tuesday at the Huntington Center.
Toledo scored three power play goals and veteran goalie Jordan Pearce was very strong in net, finishing with 34 saves tonight.
Joey Martin scored a power play goal to give the Walleye a 1-0 lead with 10:12 left in first period. Martin slammed home a rebound off of a shot by Byron Froese. It came just 24 seconds into the Walleye's first power play.
Cincinnati goalie Michael Houser, who has been the difference for most of the series, then played very well in the second period.
But Trevor Parkes solved Houser (20 saves) when he beat the Cyclones netminder with a backhander. The power play goal made it 2-0 with 7:01 left in second period. There were just 17 seconds left on the man advantage when Parkes scored.
Travis Novak then made it 3-0 with 16:51 left in the game with another power play goal. Novak kicked the puck up to his stick and beat a screened Houser.
Cincinnati's Brian O'Hanley scored with 24 seconds left to end Pearce's shutout bid.
Toledo killed off all six of the Cyclones' power plays.
A vocal group of Toledo fans could be heard throughout the contest.
The seventh-seeded Walleye must win two more games to complete the rally against second-seeded Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Faceoff for Game 6 is 7:35 p.m. Tuesday in Toledo.