Toledo Walleye win playoff opener vs. Indy in double OT

The ECHL’s Toledo Walleye earned their playoff series-opening victory against the Indy Fuel the hard way, with Tyler Barnes scoring 1:33 into double overtime as Toledo emerged with a 4-3 OT win.

Christian Hilbrich also scored 2 goals, Kyle Bonis had a goal and an assist, Simon Denis had 2 assists and Pat Nagle stopped 43 of 46 Fuel shots.

The Walleye’s website posted a recap, a highlight clip and an interview with coach Dan Watson:

Walleye victorious over Fuel in double overtime in Game 1 of Kelly Cup Playoffs

(Toledo, OH) – Tyler Barnes scored 1:33 into double overtime as the Walleye defeated the Fuel 4-3 on Friday night in Toledo and won Game 1 of the series. Christian Hilbrich scored twice and Tyler Barnes picked up three points, while Pat Nagle stopped 43 of 46 shots and is 1-0-0 in postseason play. The Walleye are 1-0-0 in postseason play and 1-0-0 at home.

Christian Hilbrich tipped a shot from Connor Crisp past Fuel goaltender, Etienne Marcoux, to put the Walleye up 1-0 at 9:27 of the first period. Indy tied the game 1-1 at 11:17 of the frame with a shot that beat Nagle.

Hilbrich scored his second of the game at 5:26 of the second period on the power play by tipping in the rebound of Tyler Barnes’ shot to make it 2-1 Walleye.

Kyle Bonis slammed his shot into the back of the net at 2:58 of the final period to extend the Walleye lead to 3-1. Former Walleye forward, Josh Shalla, found the back of the net at 4:25 of the frame to pull the Fuel within a goal. The Fuel would tie the game 3-3 at 11:48 of the third.

The first overtime saw no score from either team with Toledo putting up 12 shots to be turned aside by Marcoux, while Nagle turned aside all 11 shots he faced.

Bonis set up Tyler Barnes, who found the back of the net 1:33 into double overtime to give the Walleye the 4-3 win.

Fish Tales:

  • The Walleye were victorious in Game 1 and lead the series 1-0-0. Game 2 is set for Sunday with a 5:15 p.m. puck drop.
  • Nagle stopped 43 of 46 shots and is 1-0-0 in postseason play.
  • Kyle Bonis led Toledo against Indy in the regular season with 11 points (4G, 7A).
  • Tonight’s jersey raffle for the Humboldt Broncos raised $6,040 and with a contribution from Walleye Wishing Well, we will be donating $10,000 to the Broncos.
  • Toledo is 23-2-1 all-time vs. Indy.

Here’s the Walleye’s highlight clip…

And here’s coach Dan Watson’s post-game interview:

Update: The Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe filed a recap:

Minutes into double overtime, Walleye forward Tyler Barnes finally cut the tension and allowed an eruption of celebratory relief with a dramatic game-winning goal in a memorable playoff opener on Friday night.

The Walleye kicked off the Kelly Cup postseason with a hard-fought 4-3 win in double overtime over a scrappy Indy Fuel team.

Toledo took Game 1 of the Central Division semifinals when Barnes potted the winner 1:33 into a tense second overtime. Barnes capped a quick rush on assists from Kyle Bonis and Simon Denis.

“That was incredible,” Barnes said. “I’m so happy for this team and this city. That’s playoff hockey right there. It’s perfect to get the first win like that.”

Forward Christian Hilbrich also scored two goals before an increasingly antsy crowd of 7,023 at the Huntington Center. The top-seeded Walleye took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 2 is Sunday at 5:15 at the Huntington Center.

“That was my pro hockey debut and it didn’t disappoint,” Hilbrich said. “It was so much fun. It was huge to be able to step up in big moments and winning at home in dramatic fashion.”

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.