Toledo's Rob Thorpe looks for a hole in the Peoria defense. Toledo improved to 4-2, playing what coach Dennis Holland said `might have been our best 60 minutes of the year.'
He was recruited as one of the cornerstones of the 2000-01 edition of the Toledo Storm.
Yet for the first five games of the season, Alexandre Jacques was playing like a rock that had sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
Game No.6 was a different story. Jacques, who scored six goals in a nine-game stint with the Storm in 1997-98, crashed the net for a pair of second-period goals last night in Toledo's 3-2 win over the Peoria Rivermen at the Sports Arena.
The markers proved to be the tying and winning goals.
“I haven't been playing well since the beginning of the season,” Jacques said. “I was questioning myself. I'm here to score goals and I'm here to create some plays. It's just not happening. It's a big relief tonight. It felt good.”
The good feeling began with the score 2-1 in favor of the visitors at 7:21 of the middle frame. Jacques took three pokes at a loose puck in front of Peoria goalie Kenric Exner and on the third try made it work.
Less than four minutes later, Jacques went back to the front of the net and converted a rebound off the stick of Sam Katsuras. It gave the Storm its first lead of the evening, one that they would protect through the final period.
“It was important” for Jacques to produce, Toledo coach Dennis Holland said. “I talked to my veterans this morning. We have four games in five nights, and I need those guys to be consistent and at a high level. Alexandre Jacques responded tonight for us.”
As did James Patterson and Sam Katsuras.
Jacques's linemates had five points between them, with Patterson scoring in the first and assisting on the other two goals and Katsuras picking up helpers on Jacques's third and fourth goals of the season.
“The last five games I was hesitating,” Jacques said. “I was looking at the play, I was ahead of the play or I was behind the play. Tonight I just decided to stop thinking and go through the checks and everything.”
Toledo is now 3-0 on the young season against the defending East Coast Hockey League playoff champion Rivermen.
“I think that might have been our best 60 minutes of the year,” Holland said. “We worked hard. We got the puck deep. We were intense. We did everything that the Toledo Storm needs to do in this arena.”
NOTES: Jason Norrie was suspended for last night's contest as a result of a game misconduct picked up on Saturday. He'll be back for tomorrow's game in Dayton. ... Toledo center Shawn Maltby is on the seven-day injured reserve list with a stomach/groin problem. ... The Storm waived ex-Bowling Green State University winger Craig Desjarlais and goalie Ron Vogel. ... Toledo is back home Saturday against Wheeling.