Evan Rankin's goal in the third round of the shootout proved to be the game-winner as his Toledo Walleye (23-21-3-1) earned a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Cyclones (21-20-6-3) in front of 2,176 at U.S. Bank Arena on Wednesday night.
After a back-and-forth first period, Toledo jumped out to a 1-0 with less than 30 seconds left in the frame when Chris DiDomenico tucked in his fourth goal of the season past Cyclones netminder Chet Pickard (L, 26 saves, 8-11-2-1).
In the second period, the Walleye added to their lead when Mike Hedden finished off a three-on-one rush by sliding the puck past Pickard for a 2-0 lead. Luckily, Cincinnati answered back at the 12:58 mark when Dan Eves one-timed home his first goal as a Cyclone to cut the deficit to 2-1. Then, with just under a minute to play in the period, Casey-Pierro Zabotel caught a beautiful Mathieu Aubin pass and snapped a shot through the legs of Toledo goalie Joe Palmer (W, 38 saves, 9-10-1) to knot the score at two heading into the second intermission.