ECHL Playoff Game Night: 4-15-17
Kalamazoo Wings 1 at Toledo 4
Toledo leads series 2-0
F Brian Hart, KAL, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIMS, 2 SOG
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 0-0-0, -2, 0 PIMS, 5 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 33 GP, 6-5-11, -7, 6 PIMs, 71 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 33 GP, 3-4-7, E, 26 PIMs, 50 SOG
F Cameron Darcy, KAL, 0-0-0, -2, 2 PIMS, 3 SOG
Playoff Totals: 2 GP, 1-1-2, -2, 2 PIMS, 6 SOG
Season Totals (ECHL): 20 GP, 5-20-25, +11, 10 PIMs, 51 SOG
Season Totals (AHL): 34 GP, 3-4-7, -3, 14 PIMs, 40 SOG
G Nic Riopel, KAL, did not play (backup)
Playoff Totals: 1 GP, 0-1-0-0, 4.03 GAA, 0.818 SV%
Season Totals (ECHL): 32 GP, 18-12-0-1, 3.13 GAA, 0.899 SV%, 1 SO
Toledo was ready to play Saturday when Game #2 of the Central Division Semi-finals started, scoring the opening goal just over 3 minutes into the contest. The Walleye then imposed their will over of the K-Wings, running up 3 goals before the 9 minute mark. Midway through the 2nd period, former Syracuse Cruncher Evan Rankin added Toledo's 4th goal, his 2nd of the game and 3rd of the series, to effectively nail the lid of the game shut. Kalamazoo did manage to spoil Jake Peterson's shutout bid with a shortie with less than 4 minutes left in the game. Peterson was strong in a back-to-back performance, but had lots of help from the Walleye defense who held the K-Wings to just 21 shots.
Granted, it's easy to critique in retrospect and from a distance, but an argument could be made for the K-Wings to roll right back with Riopel in Game 2 the way the Walleye did with Peterson. Riopel gave up a few goals early in Game 1, but he closed the door down the 2nd half of the game and gave his team a chance to win in a virtually even match. Something to be said of building off that momentum in Game 2. Instead, the team found itself in 3-0 hole before the midpoint of the 1st period, and the goalie wasn't even lifted. Not all those goal's were Joel Martin's fault, but you need to throw the kitchen sink at the best team in the league and try to split the road games. The series now travels to Kalamazoo for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, with the K-Wings needing a critical win in Game 3.