Matej Pekar scored the game-winning shootout goal and Beck Warm turned away 24 shots on Cyclones Fight Cancer Night, helping the 'Clones walk away with a 5-4 shootout victory in front of 8,327 fans at Heritage Bank Center Saturday night.
The Cyclones jump three points ahead of Toledo, improving to 24-11-5-2 with 55 points. The Walleye are 23-15-4-2 and hold third place in the Central Division with 52 points.
- Toledo's Mitchell Heard began the scoring, grabbing the fish a 1-0 lead 6:19 into the first when the forward tipped a left point shot from Adrian Beraldo, getting the puck to roll over the goal line and barely beat Beck Warm.
- 26 penalty minutes were accrued during the first, with Sean Allen and Justin Vaive dropping the gloves to the roar of a thunderous crowd in Downtown Cincinnati.
- The Walleye entered Saturday in a tie for the league's top penalty kill on the road, but were blitzed for three Cyclones power play goals in the second period. Yushioroh Hirano struck on the first two, blasting one-timers by Sebastian Cossa at the :58 and 11:18 marks from the left-wing circle.
- Andrew Sturtz evened things for Toledo late in the period, getting a wrist shot through traffic to beat Warm, but another power play opportunity afforded the 'Clones to jump back on top less than a minute later at the 18:46 mark of the second. Hirano received a puck in the same spot he scored twice, but this time elected a cross-ice feed to Zack Andrusiak (15), who buried a one-timer by Cossa to put Cincinnati back up, 3-2. It's the first time this season that the Cyclones scored three power play goals in a game.
- The third period flipped the game on its head, with Toledo scoring two consecutive power play goals to take a lead within the first five minutes of the third. Brandon Hawkins and Gordie Green each found the back of the net, but after Green got Toledo the lead, Lincoln Griffin evened the score at four a piece 6:51 into the period.
- Each team picked up a point going into overtime, but a shootout would decide the game. Both Hirano and Hawkins scored in the opening round, before the game was decided in the fourth round, as Pekar slid a puck through Cossa for the advantage. Green followed with a shot that was denied by the blocker of Warm, ending the game in favor of the Cyclones, 5-4.
- Warm scooped up his 17th win of the season, while Cossa fell in a 31-save performance.
- The Cyclones conclude what will be their final stretch of four games in five days this season when they visit the Kalamazoo Wings Sunday afternoon.