Lace em up, and get your sticks down because we have Walleye hockey tonight! Toledo heads across the border to contain the Beast in our 7th meeting of the year and the first of a back-to-back! Though we have lost three straight, the Walleye have won 5 of the previous 6 meetings with Brampton, so this is the perfect team to rebound against. Tyler Sikura has rejoined us as well, so the Triple S line may be back again! Friday’s game will be the first of three over three days, with Saturday and Sunday’s games being held at the Huntington Center. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s focus our attention on how Brampton stacks up against your Walleye!
League Standing: Tied for 1st place at 32-11-1-1 and 66 points
Western Conference Standing: 1st out of 14 teams
Central Division Standing: 1st out of 7 teams
Goals Scored Average: 4.11, with 185 goals scored tied for 2nd
Goals Against Average: 2.96, with 133 goals allowed ranking 4th
Power Play: 23.6%, percentage is ranked 1st and has scored 46 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 84.3%, tied for 6th ranked percentage with 22 Power Play goals allowed
League Standing: 13th place at 24-15-2-3 and 53 points
Eastern Conference Standing: 7th out of 14 teams
North Division Standing: 5th out of 6 teams
Goals Scored Average: 3.52, with 155 goals scored ranking 14th
Goals Against Average: 3.55, with 156 goals allowed tied for 15th
Power Play: 19.0%, percentage is ranked 10th and has scored 31 Power Play goals
Penalty Kill: 86.5%, 2nd ranked percentage with 25 Power Play goals allowed
Forwards Tyler Sikura and Dylan Sadowy were officially added to the roster on February 9th, following the reassignment of Sadowy from Grand Rapids and Sikura’s release from his professional tryout with the Iowa Wild. Almost a week earlier, on February 3rd, defenseman Frank Misuraca was released from his standard player contract (SPC). Additionally, forward Nathan Moon was traded to the Reading Royals.
The last player transactions that took place for the Beast were on January 26th, when Brampton added forward David Pacan back from an AHL loan and released forward Stephon Thorne from his SPC.
A rested Walleye squad needs to come out of the gates flying and control the tone in the early stages of this game. We cannot get caught up in the neutral zone or bogged down by physical play, Toledo needs to enter cleanly and get to work in the offensive zone. Brampton is on a three game winning streak and would love to extend both their streak and ours as well. Despite our current slide Toledo’s stats are still top tier caliber across the board. Our special teams have been excellent throughout the year, and our Penalty Kill (PK) Unit has really stepped up lately to climb to 6th place in the league. Through our last seven games our PK Unit has only allowed 3 goals on 21 Power Play (PP) opportunities, while our PP Unit has scored 9 times in 31 opportunities. Brampton is going to give our PP Unit trouble though, as their PK Unit is 2nd in the league and has only allowed 25 PP goals on 185 opportunities. The Walleye and Beast are two of the cleanest teams of the league, as Toledo has the least while Brampton has the third least penalties in minutes. Due to this, we are going to have to capitalize on power play opportunities, as chances will be few at best. Give the 5 on 5 advantage to the Walleye however, as our offensive and defensive work is vastly superior to the middle of the pack Beast. In our last three meeting the Walleye have scored 6 goals twice, 4 in the other, while the Beast have only managed to score 4 goals total. The way I see things, the Walleye are going to head up to Brampton and continue that trend. Hopefully we see a big win up in Canada, and then come back to Toledo and remind the Beast what it’s like to visit the Huntington Center! Tune in to catch the action at 7:15 pm, and Let’s Go Walleye!