Storm defenseman Derek Booth follows the rebound after goalie Mark Bernard blocks a shot during the second period last night at the Sports Arena. Bernard made 26 saves. Toledo (12-8) has won five of its past six games.
Budweiser was the heavy last night at the Sports Arena.
Heavy on the fore-checking and getting the third forward back to help the defense pick up the attacking winger.
Things went down smoothly, too.
Team Bud (a.k.a. the Toledo Storm) defeated Bud Light (the Dayton Bombers), 2-1, in a game that featured the two East Coast Hockey League teams donning jerseys promoting the beverages served up to many in the noisy crowd of 4,077.
The Storm has now won five of its past six and eight of the past 11 games.
“We worked all week on making sure the third man high was picking up the winger and our defenseman were staying up in the play,” Toledo coach Dennis Holland said. “We didn't give them any time and space. It was the difference in the hockey game. They couldn't generate any offense.”
That was reflected in the final shot tally - 32-27 - in favor of Toledo.
Dayton had five shots at Storm goaltender Mark Bernard in the first period and eight in the second. It wasn't until the third period that the Bombers finally out-shot Toledo, 14-11.
“We did a great job holding them up in the neutral zone,” said Bernard who took a shot off the head and a knee to the mask in the third period but went the distance. “If they weren't turning back in their zone, they were dumping the puck in. That's what we need to do. If we can do that, we'll own teams.”
Toledo started with a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Shawn Maltby in the first period and James Patterson in the third.
Dayton got its only goal at 7:15 of the final period when Storm defenseman B.J. Adams failed to knock down former Toledo winger Dave Flanagan in front of the net with the Bombers on the power-play.
Dayton pulled its goalie and hammered Bernard with shots at the end, but came up dry in a playoff-type atmosphere.
“We hate each other,” Maltby said of the two teams. “We have no respect for each other on the ice. We're both good teams and they're in our division and these are the games that count the most.”
With the victory, Toledo (12-8) is now just two points behind Dayton (12-7-2) in the fight for second place in the East Coast Hockey League's Northwest Division.
Toledo still has one game in hand.
NOTES: Defenseman Ryan Gaucher made an impressive Storm debut against the Bombers with some smooth stickhandling and passing. To make room for the Detroit Red Wings pro, who hasn't played since undergoing stomach surgery on Oct. 16, Holland shuffled his injured-reserve list. Healthy defenseman Curtis Rich was put on the seven-day injured reserve, forward Alexandre Jacques was moved to the 14-day IR with an on-going leg injury, and defenseman Shawn Skolney was placed on the 30-day list. Skolney is with an ailing family member in Canada. ... Johnstown defenseman Brent Bilodeau was slapped with a seven-game suspension by the ECHL for high-sticking Toledo's Kelly Miller in the face Sunday.