(PR) Toledo, OH, March 5, 2010 – Forty minutes of pent-up offense was unleashed early in the third period Friday night in Toledo. Stifled by Dave Caruso on their first 27 shots of the game, the Walleye began the third period trailing 1-0, but surged to the lead three minutes into the frame and did not relent. When the dust settled, Toledo had outdueled Trenton, 5-3, remaining perfect in four meetings this season against Trenton.
Three games out of the lineup didn’t stop Dan Eves from jumping right back into the Devils offense. Parked between the circles, Eves redirected a high-slot drive from Tim Kunes which carried past goalie Alec Richards for the games’ first score at 13:31 of the first period, and Dan Charleston got the secondary assist, his first of two in the game. Two fights late in the first pinned Trenton’s Justin Pender against Adam Keefe, followed shortly by Chris Murray scrapping with Mark Nebus, the latter receiving a game misconduct.
Toledo scored five goals in the third period for the second time this season, overtaking the Devils with goals from defensemen Jonathan Carlsson and J.C. Sawyer by the 3:09 mark. Carlsson’s game tying goal, his third tally of the year in his 13th game, came on a shot from the right point setup by passes from Simon Danis-Pepin and Chris Robertson. Danis-Pepin had the primary assist in his first ECHL contest after getting eight points in 38 games with AHL-Rockford. Two minutes later, Sawyer, the highest scoring defenseman in the league, had time and space to wind and drive from the left point, beating Caruso glove side. Sawyer’s first of two goals put the Walleye ahead, 2-1, with assists from Scooter Smith and Maxime Tanguay.
The Devils responded quickly to even the score, getting the ensuing face-off into Toledo ice. With Dan Charleston protecting the puck up the right wing boards, Dan Eves moved into the zone and took a pass from Charleston with room to skate. Eves closed quickly on goalie Alec Richards, squared and blasted for his second of the game and 14th of the season.
Trenton’s momentum got another boost when a penalty to Adam Keefe set up the Devils’ second power play chance of the game. Though more impressive than their first opportunity, it was the Walleye’s penalty kill that led to offense. Sal Peralta sought to kill the final seconds of the penalty by skating the puck deep to right wing corner, and as the final seconds ticked off, he made a stunning pass to Tanguay crashing the net. The team leader in points notched his 20th of the season to put the Walleye back on top for good.
A power play goal insured the advantage at 8:26 after an Andy Thomas interference minor. J.C. Sawyer struck again, his 21st of the season and fifth against the Devils in four meetings. Tanguay and Smith assisted as the Walleye took a 4-2 lead. Thomas earned a measure of revenge, scoring his third goal of the season on a blast from the neutral zone that Richards couldn’t control at 13:30 to get the Devils back within one goal.
Tanguay put the game out of reach with his second goal of the game, completing a four point night, at 15:05 with Smith and Evan Rankin assisting. The Walleye win was cemented when Dan Charleston was called for high sticking at 17:31, preventing any chance of a late Devils rally.
Losers of two straight, the Devils (24-25-4-5, 57pts) remain three points out of a playoff spot, with Reading and Wheeling tied for eighth place in the American Conference with 60 points. The Devils start a two-game series in Wheeling Saturday at 8:05pm.