ECHL: Toledo Walleye to Play Game 4 Without Key Players

Lewandowski goes through the line after tying the game at 1.
Photo Credit: Drake Harlett | Inside The RInk

The Toledo Walleye will enter game four of the Western Conference Final against the Kansas City Mavericks without three players who have been important to the team’s success. Forwards Mitchell Lewandoski, Trenton Bliss, and Orrin Centazzo will not be in the lineup for the game on Friday, March 24th, at the Cable Dahmer Arena. The series now switches to Kansas City for the final four games, with the Mavericks up in the series, 2-1.

Walleye Face Hurdles in Game 4

Lewandoski has been one of the hottest Walleye players lately. He has three goals and six assists for nine points in seven games this postseason. He was injured in game two and never returned with an unknown injury. His status for game five and the rest of the playoffs has not been determined. He played a critical role in the Walleye’s late-season heroics and has been sensational in the playoffs.

Bliss was injured in the first period of game two and did not return. He is one of the leading scorers in the playoffs, accounting for three goals and six assists for nine points in 11 games. Bliss has been one of the more consistent Walleye players offensively this season and in the playoffs.

Centazzo has struggled in the playoffs, producing one goal and four assists in five points this postseason. He was injured in the third period of game two and did not return. He is second on the team in penalty minutes with 10 and tied for forwards.

Toledo will now have to rely on their forward depth to get through game four and remain hopeful for the returns of Bliss, Centazzo, and Lewandoski. Forwards, Conlan Keenan, Alexandre Doucet, and Jason Willms will need to step up to fill the voids left by those three. Willms received a five-minute major for fighting, and toughness may be needed. Keenan played a supportive role during the regular season, providing secondary scoring and maybe moving up to the top line. Doucet started the season hot but struggled in the second half. He finished the season with 41 points in 52 games and could be vital in the success of the Walleye in game four.

The Walleye have dealt with injuries and call-ups throughout the season and have been fine. Their depth is one reason they are where they are. They will need to step up until the Walleye knows the status of the three players out. Now is their time to shine, and they couldn’t have a better time to have a breakout game.

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