Beyond The Benches

The Toledo Walleye Are Hot

The Toledo Walleye started off this season mediocre 2-2 start. Since then the team has won eight of their last 10  with only a shootout loss to Reading last weekend. They have been putting the puck in the net at an astonishing pace, averaging 4.2 goals per game in that time. Its that offense that has helped make Toledo the hottest team in the ECHL and vaulted them to the top half of the eastern conference.

The Walleye are led by Anthony Luciani, who leads the league in points with 20, including a league high 13 assists. He has been especially good on the man advantage leading the league in points with three goals and six assists.

Toledo has consistently been able to outscore their opponents. They’ve been eastern conference leader Fort Wayne twice, out scoring them 12-5, and Orlando 4-3.

“Good teams don’t have losing streaks and so far we are 3-0-0 after a loss,” Luciani told The Toledo Blade. “Every time you play a good team you want to win.”

Luciani has been the leader and playmaker of the group but the team has got balanced goals scoring throughout the lineup. The Walleyes have had 15 different players score at least one goal. Leading the way in that category is Kyle Bonis with eight.

The team’s top players are young and skilled adding to the belief that they have a team that can keep up the superb level of play.

Another reason the team has been streaking has been the play between the pipes. The team a split time between two goalies. Jeff Lerg has been the better of the two, posting 1.89 GAA and a .936 save percentage in 7 games. Goalie Jared Coreau has also been good enough with a 3.11 GAA and a .883 save percentage.

Lerg’s five-foot-six small stature has not stopped him from getting in front of puck how ever he can. “He’s been our rock,” Toledo head coach Derek Lalonde told The Toledo Blade.

Toledo has had the advantage of playing the majority of these games at home. The schedule will balance out and it is important for them to keep there foot on the gas and take it one game at a time.

“We’ve got to take advantage of these games because, come December when we get on the road, it’s going to be a grind,” forward Troy Schwab told The Toledo Blade. “When you get time here at home, you’ve got to take advantage of that.”

It will be interesting to see if this team can sustain their goals scoring pace. They will need to continue to focus on the the game at hand. They should be a playoff team this year and look like one of the most exciting teams in the league..



Writer: Sean Cahill is an Assignment Editor at ABC 6 In Providence, RI. A New England native, Sean is a huge fan of everything hockey, especially the Boston Bruins. He is also part of a radio show, The Sports Exchange, on Sunday nights. He can be reached on Twitter @CahillSean33. Photo Credit: Instagram.