Use the Force Toledo, because it’s Star Wars night and the Walleye have returned to the Huntington Center! Want to know who else is back? LEERRRRG! The franchise leader in wins and shutouts wasn’t getting the ice time he deserved in Denmark so he’s going to get some here in Toledo. Tonight your Walleye take on the Rapid City Rush, which come in determined to spoil the festivities and recover from their 2-0 loss last night against Indy. Toledo comes in losing consecutive games for the first time all season, the first in regulation to Kalamazoo and the second in overtime to Wheeling. It’s time to rebound in front of a packed arena, so get loud Toledo!
League Standing: 1st place at 30-8-1-1 and 62 points
Western Conference Standing: 1st out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: 1st out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 4.15, with 166 goals scored ranking 2nd
Goals Against Average: 2.88, with 115 goals allowed ranking 4th
Power Play: 23.6%, percentage is tied for 1st and has scored 41 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 83.5%, 13th ranked percentage with 21 Power Play goals allowed
Rapid City Rush
League Standing: 23rd place at 14-19-7-0 and 35 points
Western Conference Standing: 12th out of 14 teams
Mountain Division Standing: 7th out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 3.08, with 123 goals scored ranking 19th
Goals Against Average: 3.55, with 142 goals allowed ranking 19th
Power Play: 16.5%, 16th ranked percentage and have scored 26 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 86.4, 4th ranked percentage with 17 Power Play goals allowed
LERG. IS. BACK!!!!! In case you haven’t heard, Jeff Lerg has rejoined the Walleye as of today (January 28th) and will serve as the backup this weekend. As a result, goaltender Steve Racine has been released from his standard player contract (SPC). Also, earlier this week (Jan 25th) Nolan Zajac was loaned to the Hershey Bears of the AHL. In order to get six defensemen on the roster Toledo signed d-man Travis Jeke to a SPC.
Rapid City Rush:
No transactions have occurred within the last two weeks.
The Walleye still hold the top spot in the ECHL, but the gap is closing as the Florida Everblades continue to chip away at the lead. Despite the last two losses Toledo is still 6-3-1-0 in their last 10 games, while the Rush are 4-4-2-0 in their past 10. Don’t sleep on the Rush though, every team wants to knock off the number 1 team in the league. Toledo will be able to play a more balanced game with the addition of a 6th defenseman, so I don’t anticipate another goal fest like in Wheeling on Wednesday. Jeff Lerg will be serving as the backup this weekend, Coach Watson has said Lerg needs time to knock off the rust due to not seeing action the past couple weeks in Denmark. Paterson continues to hold the reigns, and will have to be sharp against a surprisingly effective Rush offense. Toledo will have to capitalize on their 5 on 5 chances, as Rapid City’s penalty kill unit is an impressive 4th in the league and will be a challenge to the 2nd ranked power play of the Walleye. The Rush defense is suspect though, which bodes well for your Walleye. Hirschfeld and Moon will look to carry over their scoring from Wednesday tonight and get this Walleye team back on track. Don’t forget to turn out rocking your best Star Wars attire, and give Lerg a warm welcome back! Let’s Go Walleye!