Walleye bow out of playoffs, losing to Fort Wayne in 6 games

The Toledo Walleye faced some stiff odds in heading to Fort Wayne down 3-2 in the teams’ second-round series, but the Walleye rallied from a 1-0 deficit on goals from Zach Nastasiuk and Austen Brassard…

Only to surrender a late-first-period and halfway-through-the-second-period goal, as well as an empty-netter, en route to a season-ending 4-2 loss.

The Walleye fell short of championship expectations by a fair amount, and the Walleye’s website posted a game recap:

Amazing season for Walleye comes to an end in Fort Wayne

(Fort Wayne, IN) – Austen Brassard picked up a goal and an assist as the Walleye fell to the Komets 4-2 on Tuesday night in Fort Wayne. Pat Nagle stopped 30 of 33 shots and finishes 6-4-0 in postseason play. The Komets won the best-of-seven series four games to two.

Fort Wayne would take a 1-0 lead at 6:01 of the first period when a rebounded shot snuck past Nagle. Zach Nastasiuk (1st) picked up the rebound of Austen Brassard’s shot to tie the game 1-1 on the power play at 14:27 of the period. At 16:46 of the frame, Christian Hilbrich would send a pass to Brassard (3rd), who then found the back of the net to put Toledo up 2-1. The Komets would tie the game 2-2 with a power play goal that beat Nagle at 18:13.

The Komets would take a 3-2 lead at 10:01 of the second period on a rebounded shot that found the back of the net. Houser would turn aside the six shots he faced in the frame.

The Komets would seal the victory with an empty net goal at 18:58 of the third period giving the final score of 4-2.

Fish Tales:

  • Nagle stopped 30 of 33 shots and finishes 6-4-0 in the postseason.
  • Shane Berschbach led the Walleye in the Central Division Finals with five points (2G, 3A) in six games played.

And the Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe filed a recap:

The Walleye had won the regular-season division and Western Conference titles to earn home-ice advantage through the first three rounds, but the Komets won two games on the road at the Huntington Center and also took two of three at home in the best-of-7 series.

“There’s massive disappointment,” Walleye coach Dan Watson said. “It’s a good group of guys – great character. Guys fighting for each other, especially the guys that have been here for so long. We had a team that could make it into June. We just ran into a very good Fort Wayne team. I thought they got timely goaltending and had guys step up.”

With the game tied at 2 near the midpoint, Desjardins cashed in after a lengthy scramble in front of Walleye goalie Pat Nagle to give the Komets a 3-2 lead. The loose puck slid around the top of the crease in traffic before Desjardins slammed it home for the game winner.

The Komets added an empty-net goal from captain Shawn Szydlowski with 1:02 left.

“It’s tough to dig up the words,” said forward A.J. Jenks, one of eight veterans on the Walleye. “This one hurts for sure. It’s unfortunate we’ve fallen short again.”

Monroe continues


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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.

One thought on “Walleye bow out of playoffs, losing to Fort Wayne in 6 games”

  1. Toledo’s power play really let them down over the course of the series, not having Simon Denis past few games didn’t help matters. It might be time to move on from the core mentioned in Mark Monroe’s tweet. The Walleye have positioned themselves as a preferred destination in the ECHL. I expect they’ll have a strong team again next season. Hopefully they can get over the hump.

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