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Topping scores twice as Walleye split with Mavericks

Saturday, February 23rd
Topping scores twice as Walleye split with Mavericks

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Jordan Topping netted a pair of goals as part of a wild second period, but the Toledo Walleye were forced to settle for a split in their two-game trip to the Show Me State after dropping a 5-3 decision against the Kansas City Mavericks on Friday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.

The Walleye, who sit 14-9-2-2 on the road and 31-14-4-3 overall, were unable to pick up points for just the second time in 34 tries this season (28-2-2-2) when tallying three or more goals in a single game. Bryan Moore contributed two assists for the second time in three games, while Greg Wolfe scored for the second consecutive contest as he and Dylan Sadowy extended their respective point streaks to four straight.

Toledo grabbed a 1-0 lead with 2:59 remaining in the opening period. Wolfe gained the zone and sent a pass to Sadowy, who in turn set up Wolfe in front for his 16th goal of the season.

The goals came thick and fast to begin the middle stanza, as both clubs combined for three goals in a 56-second span. Kansas City (27-20-3-1) pulled even 3:23 into the frame when Corey Durocher lifted a wrist shot from the top of the right circle past the catching glove of Pat Nagle.

Topping needed all of 28 seconds to restore Toledo’s one-goal edge. Moore had his initial attempt blocked by Nick Schneider, but Topping wasted no time burying the rebound into an open cage.

Kansas City knotted the score at two apiece with another goal 28 seconds later. Rocco Carzo’s effort from the left point was steered aside by Nagle’s right pad, but Darian Dziurzynski picked up the loose change at the left goal line and sent a pass across to Sweeney for a one-timer from the right circle.

Another scoring spree arrived later in the second frame, with the Walleye and Mavericks combining for a trio of goals 59 seconds apart. Neal Goff’s wrist shot from the left point clanked off the right post, but Sweeney was positioned in front to tap home the rebound for his second of the night to give the hosts a 3-2 lead at the 11:06 mark.

This time, the Walleye managed to play catch-up as Topping potted his second goal of the night at 11:53. Tyler Spezia gained the zone and sent the puck to Moore, who centered a pass from the right half-boards toward Topping in front to make it a 3-3 contest.

Twelve seconds after Topping restored parity, the Mavericks reclaimed the lead when Willie Raskob’s slapshot from the right point was redirected by Carzo in the high slot and into the top left corner.

Back-to-back penalties gave the Walleye a 5-for-3 for 13 seconds near the halfway point of the final period, but the visitors were unable to author another comeback story as time continued to tick away. Greg Betzold added an empty-netter for the Mavericks to close out the scoring with 52 seconds to play.

Toledo finished 0-for-3 on the man advantage, while Kansas City failed to convert on five power play opportunities. Nagle and Schneider each recorded 25 saves.

What’s Next:The Walleye wrap up their three-game road trip on Wednesday, Feb. 27 as they face the Kalamazoo Wings. Puck drop from Wings Event Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Three Stars:1. Kansas City – Riley Sweeney (two goals)2. Kansas City – Rocco Carzo (goal, assist)3. Toledo – Jordan Topping (two goals)

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