Heard, Myer Lead Toledo in Rout of Heartlanders
CORALVILLE, IA – Mitchell Heard and Geordi Myer each had three assists to lead the Toledo Walleye to a 6-1 rout of the Iowa Heartlanders on Friday evening. Toledo took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission, then responded with four unanswered goals, including two on the power-play. John Lethemon stopped 27 shots for the Walleye while Corbin Kaczperski gave up five goals on 33 shots. James Sanchez had the lone tally for Iowa.
Toledo jumped out in front 2:31 into the contest when Andrew Sturtz scored his 10th goal of the year. The Walleye were doing a great job of controlling the puck along the perimeter inside the Iowa end. Sturtz came out from behind the net looking like he was heading toward the boards, but simply lifted a backhand shot that went over the shoulder of Kaczperski on the short side to make it 1-0.
Just after the 13-minute mark, Riley McCourt made it a two-goal advantage. Sturtz took a shot that Kaczperski save. The Heartlanders netminder then dumped the puck behind the net, where Sturtz rushed to retrieve it. He lifted a backhand in front to McCourt, who blasted a one-timer in for his third goal of the year.
With a little under two minutes left in the frame, Sanchez netted his sixth goal of the year. Justin Wells fired a shot from the point that Lethemon saved, but the rebound was loose to the opposite side of the crease. Sanchez raced over, knocking it in to make it 2-1.
Iowa was down by just a goal coming out of the first intermission, but were absolutely dominated by Toledo in the second period. The Walleye outshot the Heartlanders, 21-6, and scored three goals in the frame.
The first came at 10:55 when Conlan Keenan scored his fourth goal of the year. Heard gained control of the puck in the corner, quickly giving it to Myer, who fed it in front to Keenan. He redirected the puck through the legs of Kaczperski to make it 3-0.
At 13:34, Charlie Curti netted a power-play tally to extend the lead to three. Iowa was able to clear the puck out of their own zone, but the Walleye quickly restored possession inside the Iowa zone. Heard fired a shot that Kaczperski saved, but the puck bounced to the right side where Curti blasted it in for his third goal of the year. Myer earned his third assist of the evening on the tally.
With 2:01 left in the frame, Thomas Ebbing made it a four-goal advantage for the Walleye. With Toledo on the power-play, Heard won the draw back to the point to Curti who lifted a wrist shot that Ebbing redirected past Kaczperski for his 11th goal of the season. That would be it for the Iowa netminder.
The Walleye added one goal for good measure 1:03 into the third when McCourt scored his second goal of the game, scoring on a beautiful play by Toledo. Gordie Green entered the Iowa end, leaving a drop pass for Trenton Bliss who sent it back to Green as he was moving toward the goal line. The forward spotted McCourt at the far post, directing a perfect pass across the crease to McCourt who blasted a one-timer by Trevin Kozlowski to make it 6-1.
McCourt finished with two goals and Sturtz had a goal and an assist. Curti had a goal and two assists and Myer and Heard each had three assists for the Walleye.
The Iowa Heartlanders (7-18-9) will welcome the Toledo Walleye (18-14-5) again on Saturday. The puck drops at 7:05.
by Robert Pannier