Berry, Dickinson Lead Walleye Past Iowa, 6-1
TOLEDO, OH – Josh Dickinson and Matt Berry each scored two goals and had four points, leading the Toldedo Walleye to a 6-1 victory over the Iowa Heartlanders. For the second straight night, Toledo scored the first five goals of the game, taking a commanding lead that Iowa was simply unable to overcome. Billy Constantinou scored the lone goal for the Heartlanders. The Walleye have absolutely dominated Iowa this season, outscoring them 26-5 in the four games.
As they had done the previous night, Toledo scored three first period goals to take command of this contest early. The first came at came with the Walleye on the power-play at 6:52. Blake Hillman passed the puck to Dickinson at the left faceoff circle. He saw TJ Hensick streaking toward the right faceoff dot, making a perfect feed through the slot and onto the stick of Hensick, who fired a wrist shot that beat Trevin Kozlowski for his ninth goal of the year.
Almost exactly two minutes later, Toledo was back on the board. This time it was Dickinson making a highlight reel goal, weaving his way through two Heartlanders defensemen as he moved down the slot, then moving to his forehand before quickly coming back to his backhand, lifting the puck just under the crossbar for his fifth goal of the year.
At 16:09, it was Berry’s turn to get into the act. With Toledo back on the power-play, Hensick fed the puck across the slot to Berry at the left faceoff circle, who blasted a one-timer by Kozlowski and the rout was on.
The Walleye outshot Iowa 15-4 in the first period and continued to pour it on, outshooting the Heartlanders in the second, 12-4. That helped lead them to two more goals, blowing this contest open. The first came just 11 seconds into the frame. The Walleye used a great tic-tac-toe setup as Butrus Ghafari dished the puck across the slot to Berry, who made a one-touch pass to Dickinson heading toward the far post. He simply redirected the puck past Kozlowski for his second goal of the game.
With 2:19 left in the second, the Walleye power-play struck again. Brett Boeing fired a shot that was saved by Kozlowski, but Brady Tomlak put the rebound in for his third goal of the season.
As teammate Victor Brattstorm had done the night before, Billy Christopoulos had blanked Iowa through the first 50 minutes, but the Heartlanders finally got on the board at 11:09. Yuki Miura fired a shot that was deflected to Constantinou at the right faceoff circle. He blasted a one-timer by Christopoulos for his fourth goal of the year.
The Walleye extended their lead back to five with a little over five minutes left in the game. Dickinson won the draw in the Iowa zone, winning it back to Steve Oleksy at the point, who fired a slapshot that Kozlowski saved, but the rebound came right to Berry, who put it in for his second goal of that game. That made it 6-1, which would be the final.
Kris Bennett had an assist for Iowa, that now gives him 10 points in seven games with the Heartlanders this season. Kozlowski stopped 34 shots and played well, but frequently found himself on an island as defensive lapses gave Toledo a number of great scoring chances.
Christopoulos had a light evening, facing just 17 shots. Hillman had two assists and Hensick had a goal and an assist.
The Heartlanders continue their three-game road trip on Sunday, heading for Fort Wayne to take on the Komets on Sunday. The puck drops at 3:00 Iowa time.
By Robert Pannier