A stellar postseason for the Toledo Walleye ended in the Western Conference Finals of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. After dominant wins over the Indy Fuel and Cincinnati Cyclones, the Fish fell to the Idaho Steelheads with a loss on Saturday.
The Steelheads notched 57 wins and 117 points during the 2022-23 regular season, surpassing the previous ECHL record of 56 wins, 116 points set in 2001-02 by the Louisiana IceGators.
As regular season champions, the Steelheads clinched the Brabham Cup and home-ice advantage throughout the entire playoffs.
Head-to-head, Toledo did not play Idaho during the 2022-23 season.
While Toledo swept its prior two rounds, Idaho had a bit more difficulty on its way to a Mountain Division title, with the Utah Grizzlies stretching the first round to six games. Idaho wrapped up its second-round series against the Allen Americans in five games, setting the Steelheads up for a Fish vs. Fish matchup against the Walleye.
RECAP: GAME FIVE, ROUND THREE: Steelheads win, advance to Kelly Cup Finals
Do-or-die for the Toledo Walleye. Saturday's game is a must-win for Toledo to keep the season alive.
9:35 p.m. - Walleye get a standing ovation from their fans as the clock ticks down to zero on their season. Idaho Steelheads win the series 4 games to 1.
9:16 p.m. - Steelheads add to what is likely an insurmountable lead. Go up 5-1.
9:03 p.m. - Third period underway. This is it.
8:45 p.m. - End of second period. Walleye have just one more period to go to extend their season.
8:36 p.m. - Power play Idaho after slashing call.
8:27 p.m. - Frustration appears to be setting in for the Walleye as a fight breaks out in front of the Toledo net.
8:24 p.m. - Another flurry of shots on goal results in another Steelheads goal with less than 10 to play in the second. Not looking good for the Walleye.
8:19 p.m. - Idaho scores on a breakaway with 13:43 to play in the second, take a 3-1 lead.
8:07 p.m. - Pucks on the ice and second period is underway.
7:48 p.m. - Flurry of shots on goal as first period ends but Walleye unable to put the puck in the net.
7:45 p.m. - Idaho takes their first lead of the game. 2-1 Steelheads.
7:37 p.m. - Steelheads even it up, tying the game 1-1 with just over 6 to go in the first.
7:20 p.m. - That didn't take long. Thomas Ebbing puts one in the net for the Walleye with 16:57 left in the first.
7:17 p.m. - Puck's on the ice as the Walleye look to get one back.
7:10: p.m. - Detroit Red Wing draft pick Sebastian Cossa will mind the net for the Walleye for game 5.
6:15 p.m. - We believe!
RECAP: GAME FOUR, ROUND THREE: Idaho wins 4-3, leads series 3-1
The Walleye are looking to even the series tonight at the Huntington Center. The action starts at 7:15 p.m.
7:15 p.m.: The Walleye begin game four of round three with John Lethemon in goal.
7:42 p.m.: Walleye forward Brandon Hawkins notched a PPG for the first goal of the game. The Fish are up 1-0.
7:55 p.m.: Idaho converted on its own special teams advantage to tie the game as the first period closed. Game four now stands at 1-1.
8:26 p.m.: Idaho knocks its second goal of the game in with just over 11 minutes left in the second period. The Steelheads are up 2-1.
8:32 p.m.: Idaho follows up with another goal soon after, putting the game at 3-1 with the Steelheads' third goal in a row.
8:36 p.m.: Walleye forward Gordie Green stops the lead Idaho was gaining and puts some life back into the Fish faithful. The game is 3-2 with under six minutes left in the second period.
9:11 p.m.: 35 seconds into the third period, the Steelheads extend their lead again with a fourth goal. The game stands at 4-2.
9:23 p.m.: Walleye's Green again brings game four back to a one-goal game, for his second goal of the night. It is 4-3 with about 10:42 left.
9:45 p.m.: Idaho maintains the lead through the end of the third period, beating the Fish 4-3 and giving the Steelheads a 3-1 series lead. The Walleye will meet the Steelheads at the Huntington Center again Saturday for game five. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m.
GAME THREE, ROUND THREE: 7:15 p.m., May 24
The Walleye bring the series back to Toledo for game three. Idaho leads the series 2-0 over Toledo.
9:54 p.m.: Walleye win! What a comeback. Walleye come back from 4-1 in the second period to win 5-4.
9:50 p.m.: Walleye take the lead with 2:31 to go in third period.
9:42 p.m.: Detroit Red Wings prospect Kirill Tyutyayev ties it up on a power play with 6:30 left in the third. It's a tie game 4-4.
9:22 p.m.: After a lengthy review, the call on the ice stands. It's a good goal and Toledo is only one goal away from tying the game. Idaho leads 4-3.
9:19 p.m.: Toledo forward Drew Worrad taps in a rebound off Idaho goaltender Adam Scheel with 15:03 left in regulation. The goal is under review for potential goaltender interference.
8:51 p.m.: End of the second. Idaho leads 4-2.
8:30 p.m.: After watching the last goal against from the box on a slashing penalty, Walleye forward Gordie Green scores on the power play and cuts the Steelheads' lead in half. Idaho leads 4-2.
8:28 p.m.: Another power play goal from Idaho. Idaho leads 4-1.
8:15 p.m.: Not long into the second period and on the power play, Idaho scores again. Idaho leads 3-1.
7:54 p.m.: End of the first period. Idaho maintains the lead 2-1 over Toledo.
7:51 p.m.: A defensive breakdown leads to another Idaho goal. Idaho leads 2-1 with 1:36 left in the first period.
7:46 p.m.: Idaho strikes during 4-on-4 play. With a little under four minutes left in the first period, it's a tie game 1-1.
7:22 p.m.: For the first time in the series, Toledo scores. Brett McKenzie tallies the first Walleye goal with 16:34 left in the first period. Toledo leads 1-0.
7:15 p.m.: Puck drop in Toledo. As expected, Sebastian Cossa is starting goaltender for Toledo.
RECAP: GAME TWO, ROUND THREE: Idaho wins 3-0, leads series 2-0
The Walleye will try to get one back from the Idaho Steelheads after dropping game one 3 - 0. John Lethemon is in goal for the Walleye.
8:37 p.m. - In an almost mirror image of Saturday's game, Idaho scores again late in the third period to go ahead 3-0. 2:49 left in the game.
8:36 p.m. - Time is running out for the Walleye. 3:30 to go in the third period.
8:15 p.m. - Walleye on a power play, looking to make something happen.
8:03 - Third period underway.
7:47 p.m. - Second period ends. Walleye will have their work cut out for them as they try to even the series. Idaho leads in shots on goal 31-20.
7:38 p.m. - Idaho scores again. Takes a 2-0 lead with 4:33 left to go in the second. Game is playing out awfully close to Saturday's game.
7:25 p.m. - Idaho on a power play.
7:10 p.m. - Second period underway.
6:51 p.m. - First period ends. Idaho had a clear advantage in shots on goal. 21 to Toledo's 12.
6:43 p.m. - And just like that Idaho puts points on the board. Lead Toledo 1-0 with 2:59 left in the first period.
6:42 p.m. - Power play ends. Walleye get a number of good shots on goal but fail to score.
6:39 p.m. - Game 2 is starting as slow as game 1. No points on the scoreboard with 4:42 left to play in the first period. Walleye 1:30 power play begins.
6:14 p.m. - Puck dropped. Game 2 is underway.
6:11 p.m. - The anthem has been sung and the players are on the ice for game two of the third round of the Kelly Cup playoffs.
RECAP: GAME ONE, ROUND THREE: Idaho wins 3-0
9:00 p.m. - Puck drops on Western Conference Finals of Kelly Cup playoffs.
9:49 p.m. - Walleye and Steelheads play to a draw at the end of the first period in Boise.
10:04 p.m. - Walleye have 10 shots on goal to the Steelheads 11.
10:08 p.m. - Second period begins.
10:14 p.m. - Steelheads finally put some points on the board with 15:40 left in the second period. 1-0 Idaho.
10:43 p.m. - Second period ends. Still 1-0 Idaho.
10:50 p.m. - The Steelheads are outshooting Toledo 24-20 but it's only 1-0 thanks to the Walleye's net minder (Cossa) who has made some unbelievable saves.
11:05 p.m. - Third period begins.
11:20 p.m - Steelheads score on a power play with 8:30 left in the third period. 2-0 Idaho.
11:28 p.m. - Steelheads put the puck in the net again to take 3-0 lead and all but put the game away.
11:32 p.m. - Final horn sounds as Toledo falls 3-0 in game 1.
Toledo opens the series in Idaho on Saturday, May 20, at 9:10 p.m. ET. It marks another eight-day rest since the Walleye last played on May 12.
Toledo will look to build on the momentum of eight straight postseason wins and a beatdown of Cincinnati 9-2 to close out the second round.
The Walleye will play games one and two at Idaho Central Arena before returning home to Toledo for game three on Wednesday, May 24.