John Albert scored all three Walleye goals, including the hat trick tally 14:55 into overtime to help Toledo take a 3-2 decision over Cincinnati at the Huntington Center.
The Walleye take a 1-0 series lead into Saturday night when the teams see each other for game two.
- John Albert netted his first two goals during the opening frame. The veteran forward started the game 4:36 in by cramming a rebound by Michael Houser to give Toledo its first goal. His second came on a net-front pass from Matt Berry on a power play later in the period.
- Before Toledo scored its second goal, Zack Andrusiak got Cincinnati on the board. Louie Caporusso cruised into the attacking end, then dropped a pass for Andrusiak to collect his first goal of the playoffs in the left circle 14:20 into the first.
- Lukas Craggs tied the game once more for Cincinnati late in the second period. Craggs took a shot that appeared to be stopped by Billy Christopoulos, but the puck then bounced mid-air behind the net, allowing Craggs another opportunity to whack at the puck. In doing so, the puck rolled back in front of the goal and off the back of Christopoulos and in for the 2-2 tie 16:31 into the second period.
- Neither team managed a goal in the third, thus forcing overtime. Cincinnati outshot Toledo, 10-7 in overtime, but the game-winning-goal came off a bizarre bounce for Albert. The forward stood at the left wing boards and sent the puck up the glass. As the puck carried around the glass, it popped off the corner and went directly to the back of Houser and into the net.
- Houser made 32 saves for the 'Clones in what was his first game of action in two weeks. Christopoulos turned away 34 shots to get the win for the Walleye.
The chase for the Kelly Cup starts now for the Cincinnati Cyclones! Playoff tickets are on sale NOW starting at $22 per seat for single game tickets and $20 per seat for groups of 20 or more. Call (513) 421-PUCK for tickets and more information, and stay on top of all the latest team updates and information on Facebook, Twitter (@CincyCyclones), and Instagram, along with our website, www.cycloneshockey.com!