The Toledo Cherokee was within striking distance after one period, but the Pittsburgh Vengeance put the pedal down in the second en route to a 6-2 victory.
Pittsburgh got the win on the strength of a great game by Tom Diffendal, who had one goal and two assists. Diffendal scored 12:55 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Pittsburgh. Sami Pokka picked up the assist.
The Vengeance put up an impenetrable defensive front on the penalty kill, and did not allow Toledo to score on any of its five power plays. Pittsburgh surpassed its usual scoring output this season. This season, the Vengeance average 3.4 goals per contest. Pittsburgh\’s defensemen played an important role in the offense, chipping in two goals.
Pittsburgh additionally got points from Thomas Leistner, who also grabbed one goal and one assist, Pokka, who also had one goal and one assist, and Cody Black, who also racked up one goal and one assist. Pittsburgh also had goals scored by Michael Straub and Chris McCambridge, who each put in one. More assists for Pittsburgh came via Eli Lynn and Brennan Osen, who each chipped in one.
The Cherokee were helped by Tyler Zalecki, who finished with two goals. Zalecki scored the first of his two goals at 10:40 into the third period to make the score 4-1 Pittsburgh. Zachary Armstrong provided the assist. Zalecki\’s next tally made the score 6-2 Pittsburgh with 3:22 left in the third period. Armstrong assisted on the tally.
Jason Kumpfmiller made 25 saves for the Vengeance on 27 shots. Pittsburgh incurred 14 minutes in penalty time with seven minors. Clay Horvath made four saves before being replaced by Nate Gay, who took the loss and made 11 saves. Toledo ended with 23 minutes in penalty time with four minors and one major.