Walleye News and Notes
April 11, 2016
Eastern Conference Champs: When defenseman Matt Caito scored in overtime on Friday night for a 3-2 win over Kalamazoo, the Toledo Walleye clinched the 2015-16 Eastern Conference crown for a consecutive season. This is the first time in Walleye history that the team has won the conference in back to back years. Combining last season's 50 win year the Walleye have won 97 games combined the last two seasons. The Walleye will enjoy home ice advantage for each of the first three rounds of the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Home Walleye Record: Friday night's win over Kalamazoo set a new Walleye record for most home victories this year as they finished the season 27-8-0-1 at the Huntington Center. The 27 wins were one more than last year's Walleye team (26-6-2-2) that held the record. Thank you fans!
A new single season record: In a season full of attendance records, another fell over the weekend as Toledo has set a new single season attendance record breaking the old record of 231,847 set a season ago by finishing the year with 251,369 total fans. Friday night's 8,000 fans was the 18th sellout crowd (another Walleye record) of the season meaning that Toledo had a standing room only crowd in half of its 36 home contests. Toledo finished by averaging a staggering 6,982 fans per game (94% capacity).
Reading to town for the Quarterfinals: The first round matchup has the Toledo Walleye meeting the Reading Royals to start the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs. The two teams squared off just twice this season with both games going to the Walleye in early January. Toledo held a record of 7-3-1 against teams from the East Division during the regular season.
January 8 at Reading, 3-1 Toledo win: Goaltender Jeff Lerg was the story of this game as he stopped 48 of Reading's 49 shots. AJ Jenks started the scoring with a goal at 13:12 of the first period, followed by Tyler Sikura at 19:01 of the second for a 2-0 Walleye lead going into the third period. Shane Berschbach added an empty net goal with 1:27 left for the 3-1 win.
January 9 at Reading, 4-2 Toledo win: Shane Berschbach led the way for Toledo as he scored twice with an assist. Reading led 1-0 after the first period before the Walleye struck for three goals in the second period. AJ Jenks picked up his second goal of the weekend just 20 seconds into the frame, before Berschbach (8:25) and then Dane Walters (9:25) gave the Walleye a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. Berschbach's third goal and fifth point of the weekend came with his second empty net goal at 18:25 of the third period.