That's all that separates the Toledo Storm from first place in the East Coast Hockey League's Northwest Division after a wild 8-5 victory over the Jackson Bandits last night at the Toledo Sports Arena.
“It wasn't pretty,” Toledo coach Dennis Holland said. “But good teams find a way to win.”
Good teams find a way to win when they're close to the top spot - a space that's held by the Peoria Rivermen.
Although Toledo has played three more games than Peoria, the Storm is just one point back after the Rivermen were defeated in overtime yesterday in Greensboro.
Peoria has 60 points, Toledo 59, heading into tomorrow's matchup between the teams in Illinois.
“It's a huge game,” said the Storm's James Patterson. “It's a four-point swing.”
Patterson produced a huge offensive game against Jackson, scoring three goals and adding one assist.
Two of those goals broke open a 3-2 second period lead by the Bandits and sent the Storm into the dressing room with a 5-2 edge after 40 minutes.
Jackson responded with two goalsin the third period to shrink the lead to 5-4.
“I was concerned,” Holland said. “But it showed our character when they cut it to 5-4, we responded and got it done.”
That's when Toledo reeled off three consecutive goals including Shawn Matlby's eventual game-winning power-play goal at 12:25 that made it 6-4.
Maltby also added two assists.
“It started to look like the NHL All-Star Game out there,” Maltby said of the barrage of goals.
“It's unfortunate for Bernie (Storm goalie Mark Bernard) to see five goals and that many (42) shots.”
“We've gotta start playing defensive-type playoff hockey,” said Booth, who had a plus/minus mark of +2 in the victory.
“When you play a team like Trenton, you're not going to get eight goals a night.”
Toledo is now 9-3-2 in its past 14 games, scoring 61 goals in that period.
“I think they're a pretty solid hockey team,” Jackson coach Derek Clancy said. “They're very opportunistic.”
With an opportunity to move into first place tomorrow in Peoria.
NOTES: Defenseman B.J. Adams had a team-best plus/minus of +3. ... Booth had only one point in the 11 outings before his current offensive streak. ... Jackson had 16 shots in the first period, none after the nine minute mark. ... The Storm is 3-0 against the Bandits this season. ... Jackson is in the midst of an 18-game road trip that stretches from Jan. 19-Mar. 10 because of the unavailability of its building. Last night was game No.6. They'll play twice more at the Sports Arena during the long trek: Feb. 24 and 25. ... The Storm waived defenseman Andrei Sharkevitch and forward Jeff Schmidt yesterday. Waiver pickups over the past three weeks, Sharkevitch and Schmidt combined for one assist in 10 games.