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Published: Saturday, 11/27/2010

Gwinnett ends Walleye winning streak

DULUTH, Ga. — The Toledo Walleye saw their two-game winning streak snapped with a 5-2 loss to Gwinnett Saturday night.

Evan Rankin scored twice for the Walleye, but they fell to 6-9-2.

Trailing 1-0 in the second period, Rankin tied it by deflecting in a shot from Andy Bohmbach. Kyle Page also assisted.

But merely 44 seconds later, Gwinnett regained the one-goal cushion when Matt Krug scored.

The Gladiators then added three more goals in the third to improve to 11-4-4.

Gwinnett's Dan Kissel scored twice in the third.

Rankin added his second with 48 seconds left to take over the team lead in goals scored with seven.

Mike Hedden and Dominic Osman assisted on the power play goal.

Gwinnett outshot the Walleye 47-38. It was the most shots they've allowed this season.

The game pitted a former University of Michigan goalie, Gwinnett's Billy Sauer, against Walleye goalie Joe Palmer, who is an Ohio State product.

The former Wolverine fared better than his team did in The Game Saturday.

Sauer (5-2-1), who played in two games last season for Toledo, finished with 36 saves.

Palmer (2-4-0) made 30 saves in the first two periods, but gave up three goals on 15 shots in the third. He finished with 42 saves.

“Goaltending can be the difference in any game and tonight it was for Gwinnett,” Walleye coach Nick Vitucci said. “We generated a ton of great scoring chances all night long but Sauer was the difference. I really liked our effort.”

The Gladiators struck first when Aaron Bendickson scored 4:33 into the game.

The Walleye travel to South Carolina for a 4 p.m. game Sunday against the Stingrays.

Toledo then returns home for four games in five days at the Huntington Center beginning Wednesday versus Trenton.

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