Game Day Preview: Toledo Walleye (26-7-0-1) vs Wheeling Nailers (17-12-3-0)

Somebody get Jason, because it’s time for Friday the 13th T-Town Hockey! Toledo looks to rebound from a road loss to the Nailers with a home victory tonight against the same team in what will be the sixth meeting between the two teams. Despite the loss the Walleye remain at the top of the ECHL with a slim  two point lead over the Florida Everblades, with four teams tied for third in the league. We have yet to lose two games in a row this season, so let’s keep that alive with a win tonight!


Toledo Walleye
League Standing: 1st place at 26-7-0-1 and 43 points
Western Conference Standing: 1st out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: 1st out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 4.00, with 136 goals scored ranking 2nd
Goals Against Average: 2.79, with 95 goals allowed tied for 2nd
Power Play: 23.5%, 1st ranked percentage and have scored 35 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 82.9%, 19th ranked percentage with 19 Power Play goals allowed

Wheeling Nailers
League Standing: 18th place at 17-12-3-0 and 37 points
Eastern Conference Standing: 10th out of 13 teams
North Division Standing: 5th out of 6 teams
Goals Scored Average: 3.38, with 108 goals scored ranking 16th
Goals Against Average: 3.00, with 96 goals allowed ranking 5th
Power Play: 17.5, 11th ranked percentage and have scored 25 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 76.5%, 27th (last) ranked percentage with 32 Power Play goals allowed\

Player Transactions

Toledo Walleye
Toledo has had a lot of player transactions the past few days, starting on January 10th. On the 10th Tylor Spink was loaned to the Albany Devils of the AHL, while Carter Sandlak and A.J. Jenks were both put on reserve. Alex Globke was activated from reserve on the 10th as well. Additional roster changes happened the following day (the 11th): Carter Sandlak was activated from the reserve, J.P. LaFontaine (F) was added via trade from the Elmira Jackals, and Andrew Gedert was brought back as an Emergency Back Up Goaltender (EBUG) due to Jake Paterson being ill. Dane Walters was also placed on reserve on the 11th. Today Toledo released Gedert from his EBUG position and officially added forwards Daniel Gentzler and Nathan Moon to the team. Daniel Gentzler was a teammate of the Spink twins at Colgate and comes from the Macon Mayhem of the SPHL, while Moon was acquired in a trade with the Wichita Thunder.

Wheeling Nailers
On January 10th the Nailers got forward Jarret Burton back from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the AHL, they did however loan forward Garret Meurs to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. Wheeling didn’t miss Meurs for long though, because he was returned to the team on January 12th along with goaltender Doug Carr, who was returned from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Additionally, defenseman Michael Webster was activated from reserve. To round out roster changes for the 12th, goaltender Kent Patterson was put on reserve, and forward Milos Bubela was traded to the Orlando Solar Bears.

As always it’s hard to predict the match up between these two teams due to their rivalry. With so many roster changes in the past few days I’m interested to see how team chemistry will be for both clubs, as their coaches will no doubt be shuffling and rebuilding lines and pairings. For Toledo I would imagine Paterson to get the start tonight if he is 100% recovered from his illness, or else we might see Racine in net for the first time in Toledo. LaFontaine played one game for the Walleye last year before being traded, so hopefully he settles in quickly to help our offense recover from call ups and injuries. The Nailers are going to come in this game feeling confident though, after handling Toledo in Wheeling 5-2 on Wednesday. The Walleye can’t allow the Nailers to carry that momentum into the contest tonight, or it might be a long night for Toledo. Tonight’s game will be a good test for the Walleye coaching staff, as the last week has presented a lot of adversity for this team to work through. Time to see if the Walleye rise up to the occasion, though I think a roaring Huntington Center will help them quite a bit. Let’s Go Walleye!

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