Series Preview: Toledo Walleye (16-3-0-0) at Alaska Aces (12-4-1-2)

Want to know who has the most wins in the ECHL? Spoiler alert, they play in Toledo and might be named after a certain fish in the area. Toledo capped off a flawless seven game home stand on Tuesday with a 5-4 overtime victory over Central Division rival Fort Wayne! Toledo now has the best record of the league and is off to their best start in franchise history with 16 wins in 19 games. The Fish will face a hard test in their next six games though, with three games in three days in Alaska starting today and another three games in four days against Utah starting on the 14th. The Alaska Aces will be our opponents during the first weekend of the road trip, and they are a good team off to a solid start as well.

 

Toledo Walleye

League Standing: 1st place at 16-3-0-0 and 32 points
Western Conference Standing: 1st
Central Division Standing: 1st
Goals Scored Average: 4.47, with 85 goals scored tied for 2nd
Goals Against Average: 2.63, with 50 goals allowed tied for 3rd
Power Play: 24.7%, 3rd
Penalty Kill: 81.7%, 17th

 

Alaska Aces

League Standing: 9th place at 12-4-1-2 and 27 points
Western Conference Standing: 6th
Mountain Division Standing: 3rd
Goals Scored Average: 3.42, with 65 goals scored at 14th
Goals Against Average: 2.47, with 47 goals allowed being 1st
Power Play: 17.2%, 13th
Penalty Kill: 89.2%, 4th

 

Player Transactions
Toledo Walleye

Detroit Red Wings prospect Zach Nastasiuk was reassigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins on December 6th, Nastasiuk had five points with the Walleye. Former UM goaltender Steve Racine was released, on the 7th, while former OSU goaltender Cal Heeter was reassigned to Toledo from Grand Rapids due to the return of Jared Coreau from the Red Wings.

Alaska Aces

No player transactions to report.

Toledo and Alaska are sure to put on one heck of a show as two of the top teams of the Western Conference collide three times this weekend up in Alaska. Both teams are on eight game point streaks, with the Walleye winning eight straight games while Alaska has dropped their last two games in extra time after winning six straight. The Aces have the league best defense and nearly the best penalty kill, while Toledo’s offensive blitzkrieg has secured the league’s top spot with a 3rd place power play to back up their 5 on 5 play. Home ice will play a huge factor for the series due to Toledo’s long trip from Ohio, so expect Alaska to come out fast and furious to try and exploit the advantage tonight. As long as Toledo can keep their feet under them and minimize Alaska shots on goal, expect a close game. Alaska isn’t built for high scoring games, so it’s critical to keep the pressure in their zone. The Triple S line of Spink-Sikura-Spink has been lethal as of late, with the line or a member of the line scoring at least one point in the last nine games. If Triple S stays hot, the Walleye will be able to hang tough. I would expect to see a rested Paterson to play tonight since Heeter played an AHL game on Wednesday, followed by Heeter tomorrow then Paterson Sunday. Tune in to 1230 Toledo tonight, or catch the Walleye late on TV to see them make the Aces fold, and Let’s Go Walleye!

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