TOLEDO, Ohio — The Walleye are busy getting set for Tuesday night’s game seven. The game already sold out and the environment should be unbelievable, but the other good news is that they got two big pieces back on the ice Monday at practice.
Ahead of Game 7, as if they needed any extra excitement, the Walleye had some fresh faces on the ice.
Defenseman Butrus Ghafari and forward Josh Dickinson are both back from Grand Rapids in the AHL and both have been paying close attention to the Fish while they’ve been away.
"I watched every game, I called them after every game. If I had a game, I would watch the whole game after just to tell the guys how they're doing," said Ghafari. "I've been keeping up with everything, keeping up with the locker room. I'm beyond excited to be back."
"In my head, playing in (Grand Rapids), I was getting ready for playoffs because I knew I was coming," said Dickinson. "We've been preparing for it. Even though we weren't here, we knew it was coming. We're ready to go and we're fired up."
"We know they're special players, we know they're great players," said head coach Dan Watson. "Butrus wears his heart right on his sleeve. You know exactly where you stand with him emotionally, and Dickinson is going to add even more offensive touch. Being in the American League, I'm sure his details are even better than what they were when he left. Two special players coming into the lineup."
As Toledo was fighting to keep their season alive in game six on Saturday, Ghafari and Dickinson were playing for the Griffins over in Cleveland.
They were just hoping they’d get a shot to rejoin this Walleye roster for a shot in the playoffs.
"We finished our game half an hour before Toledo finished theirs, so myself, (Dickinson), and (Kaden) Fulcher were sitting in the locker room watching the game on our phones when it was 1-0," said Ghafari. "Then they won and we were fired up for our six-hour ride home from Cleveland to (Grand Rapids), woke up, got in our cars and drove right here."
"(Watson) called us and said, 'Hey, just want to make sure you're on board,'" said Dickinson. "From day one of the season, we've been ready for this. We wanted it the whole year."
"It's crazy. I'll be honest with you, I've never played in a Game 7 and never played in a Game 7 with an atmosphere like Toledo and their fans," said Ghafari. "It's beyond exciting and I can't wait for tomorrow."