Mavericks Can’t Reel in Walleye

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – The Missouri Mavericks saw their six-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday afternoon at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena. The Toledo Walleye claimed a 4-1 win and for the Mavericks, their record moved to 24-20-7 with the loss.

The Mavericks were tasked with corraling the league’s second best offense on Sunday and were largely successful in the first period. Stephon Williams made his first start in goal this season for Missouri and turned away 13 of the 14 shots he saw in the opening frame. The lone tally came courtesy of Mathew Santos finishing a backdoor feed from A.J. Jenks 6:56 into the contest.

Radoslav Illo had a pair of solid scoring chances in the opening 20 minutes. The first came when he found a loose puck in the slot, but it rolled out of his reach before he could pull the trigger. Later Illo had a chance to score the equalizer on a partial breakaway but Toledo goalie Jeff Lerg swatted it away.

In the second period Toledo took advantage of a 4-on-4 situation to build its lead to 2-0. Mark Borkowski found himself in open ice on the left wing and beat Williams to the blocker side with a high wrist shot. The Mavericks were quick to respond, though, and kept the Walleye in their sights. Darren Nowick spun out from behind the net and beat Lerg with a wrist shot high to the glove side 1:07 after Borkowski’s goal.

Ryan Obuchowski and Luke Juha assisted on Nowick’s 19th goal of the season.

Missouri appeared to tie the game a few minutes later when Lerg couldn’t corral Reed Seckel’s shot and the puck was pushed across the line. The referee had blown the play dead a moment earlier, though, and the goal did not count. The Mavericks continue with heavy pressure from there but Lerg made several difficult saves to keep his squad in front.

The Mavericks owned much of the momentum in the third period as they out-chanced the Walleye 3-1 in power play opportunities and owned a 10-4 shot advantage. Lerg was perfect for the Walleye, though, and never let the Mavericks pull even.

Toledo added to its lead with an unassisted empty-net goal by Walters at 18:17 and Tyson Spink followed with an additional insurance marker 14 seconds later.

Williams took the loss in a 30-save effort. The Mavericks were 0-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.

Mark your calendar! The Mavericks are back in action on home ice on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:35 p.m. to face the Idaho Steelheads! If you are an armed forces veteran or currently serving in the military, take advantage of our Freedom Friday special! Show your ID at the box office to get $5 off your tickets (limit five tickets per ID). Groups of 15 or more are eligible for discounted tickets and preferred seating based on availability. Call the Mavericks at 816-252-7825 to book your group outing.

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