The Evansville IceMen match a season-best three game winning streak behind convincing defeat of the Toledo Walleye Thursday at the Ford Center.
With the win, Evansville equalizes the season series with the Walleye as they are (4-4-0) against them this season. The IceMen have prevailed in five of its last six decisions.
IceMen Right Winger Kevin Baker continued his offensive prominence with a two-goal performance that helped propel Evansville past their North Division counterparts. Baker was voted the game's first star and has assumed 12 points (6G,6A) in his last six games.
Baker succeeded his 21st goal of the season 8:58 into the second period, giving the IceMen their first lead of the night at 2-1. Assisting on Baker's first of two goals against Toledo was IceMen Left Winger Dylan Clarke, who finished the game with two helpers and a +2 rating.
The veteran right winger added his second goal on the power play 10:11 into the third period, accomplishing his team-tying 22nd goal of the season. IceMen Center Todd Robinson and Clarke earned assists on the lamp-lighter. Baker's multi-goal claimer became the eventual game-winner.
Toledo Forward Nino Musitelli also cashed in on a multi-goal output. Musitelli's first goal opened the scoring 4:44 into the first period, giving the Walleye the early advantage. Musitelli's second goal on the power play began what would become only a scare 13:01 into the third period.
The seventh goal of the season for Musitelli cut the IceMen lead to 4-2 at the time. Toledo Forward Byron Froese scored his ninth goal of the season just 48 seconds later, improving the Walleye deficit to a mere one goal with over six minutes left in regulation.
Things continued to look favorable for Toledo when IceMen Defenseman Daniel Tetrault was tagged for tripping 15:33 into the final period. The Walleye power play allowed a momentum swinging goal to IceMen Right Winger Patrick Kennedy that ended Toledo's comeback venture.
Kennedy's eighth goal of the campaign was assisted by Defenseman Donnie Harris at the 16:46 mark of the third period. Kennedy, voted game's third star, finished the game with one goal, one assist, and a +1 rating.
IceMen Right Winger Jason Dale added an empty netter with one second left on the game clock. Dale's 12th goal of the season was sent airborne from Evansville's defensive zone. The final IceMen goal was assisted by forward Andre Bouvet-Morrissette.
Bouvet-Morrissette grabbed his second goal of the season 13:03 into the second period, giving the IceMen a two-goal lead they would not relinquish. Dale was credited with the first assist on Bouvet-Morrissette's marker. IceMen Left Winger Oliver Gabriel also assisted on the tally.
IceMen Goaltender Paul Dainton got the win in his ninth straight game for Evansville. Dainton saved 32-of-35 shots faced, on his way to a .914 save percentage, moving his record to (8-10-2) on the season.
Toledo Goaltender Jordan Pearce was strapped with the loss. The Walleye net-minder saved 30-of-35 shots, accumulating a .857 save percentage.
The IceMen power play proved a difference-maker against the Walleye as they went 2-for-4 on the night. Evansville's man advantage has scored four goals in its last 10 appearances (40%), going 10 for its last 32 (31.25%).
Evansville's penalty killing unit allowed a goal for the first time in 33 opponent opportunities on Thursday. The Walleye went 1-for-3 on the power play.