ECHL Western Conference Finals Recap: Toledo Walleye vs. Kansas City Mavericks Game 2 | 05/18/2024

Credit: Drake Harlett

The Toledo Walleye hosted the Kansas City Mavericks in a crucial game on Saturday night at the Huntington Center. Toledo had hopes of tying up the Western Conference Finals at one game apiece, but Kansas City reeled in the Walleye to go up 2-0 in the series. 

Jan Bednar defending the home net for the Walleye. Jack LaFontaine was between the pipes for the visiting Mavericks.

In the first period, Toledo’s Brandon Kruse lit the lamp at 17:45 to give the Walleye their only game lead. Orrin Centazzo had the assist. Toledo had two minor penalties, both for tripping, while Kansas City had one minor penalty for tripping. Toledo outshot Kansas City 15-12 in the period.

Kansas City had a pair of goals in the second period to take the lead, while Toledo struggled to find the back of the net. The first scored by Ryan Jones at 10:15, assisted by Jacob Hayhurst and Jeremy McKenna, and the second by Max Andreev at 19:54, assisted by McKenna. Each team was assessed two penalties. The Mavericks’ Hayhurst was called for slashing and David Cotton for roughing. The Walleye’s Brandon Hawkins was called for tripping and roughing. Both roughing penalties would carry over into the third period. Despite the scoreline, Toledo outshot Kansas City 16-8 in the period and 31-20 through two periods. 

Toledo would head into the last period in an all-too-familiar position being behind. However, Kansas City capitalized on the opportunity to seal their victory. Kansas City’s Theo Calvas got the puck by Bednar at 7:35. Toledo ramped up their efforts but were unable to score. After Toledo pulled Bednar to have a man advantage, Kansas City scored two empty-net goals to capture the win. The first was scored by Jake McLaughlin at 16:24 and the second, by Patrick Curry at 18:55. McLaughlin’s goal was assisted by McKenna and Andreev. The Walleye outshot the Mavericks 9-6 in the period and 40-26 overall. 

The game concluded with Kansas City taking the 5-1 victory over Toledo. 

Toledo returns to the Huntington Center on Monday, May 20, hoping to find their first win of the series. This will mark their final home game of the Western Conference Finals, as the next four games are scheduled to be played in Kansas City. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m. ET.

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