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Kotyk nets late winner as Walleye edge Mavericks

Thursday, February 21st
Kotyk nets late winner as Walleye edge Mavericks

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Brenden Kotyk’s blast from the blue line with 2:11 remaining in regulation proved to be the game-winning goal as the Toledo Walleye edged the Kansas City Mavericks 4-3 on Wednesday in a back-and-forth contest at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

Knotted at three apiece with fewer than three minutes left in the final frame, Dylan Sadowy spun around behind the Kansas City goal and banked a pass off the right half-boards to Kotyk, who fired a slapshot from the right point past a screened Mason McDonald to guide Toledo to its first road win since Jan. 3 at Wheeling. 

Winners in five of their last seven overall, the Walleye (31-13-4-3) snapped a five-game slide (0-3-0-2) away from the Huntington Center and improved to 7-2 all-time against Kansas City (26-20-3-1). Matt Register and Sadowy each added a pair of assists, while Kaden Fulcher bounced back to turn away 28-of-31 shots and collect his 14th victory of the campaign.

Kansas City quickly seized the momentum and built a two-goal lead before the midway point of the opening frame. Joey Sides broke the deadlock when he moved to his forehand before lifting a breakaway attempt over Fulcher’s right pad 4:39 into the tilt. With his back turned to the Toledo net, Jared VanWormer added a power play marker when he redirected Sides’ centering feed into the right corner at 9:54.

The Walleye erased their deficit later in the period with a pair of goals 48 seconds apart. Greg Wolfe pounced on a rebound in front to get the visitors on the scoresheet at 17:44, before Ben Storm set up Marcus Crawford at the point to level the score at 2-2 heading into the first intermission.

Toledo eventually claimed its first lead of the night on the power play, as Ben Danford lifted a shot from the left circle at 12:59 of the middle stanza for his first goal in a Walleye uniform.

Despite being a goal and a man short, the Mavericks managed to restore parity with 3:40 gone in the third. On a shorthanded 3-on-2, C.J. Eick gained the zone on the right wing and found Willie Roskob trailing in the high slot for a one-timer inside the left post. 

Kotyk was assessed his second minor penalty of the night 7:47 into the third, but became the third Toledo defensemen to light the lamp when he wrapped up the scoring at the 17:49 mark.

Toledo finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while Kansas City converted on one of four opportunities. McDonald stopped 27-of-31 shots in a losing cause.

What’s Next:The Walleye return to action on Friday for another road matchup against the Mavericks. Puck drop from Silverstein Eye Centers Arena is set for 8:05 p.m. EST.

Three Stars:1. Toledo – Matt Register (two assists)2. Kansas City – Joey Sides (goal, assist)3. Toledo – Brenden Kotyk (game-winning goal)

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