The Toledo Storm submitted its Kelly Cup playoff roster to the East Coast Hockey League by yesterday's mandated 1 p.m. deadline minus one player who has spent the entire season with the team.
Defenseman Curtis Rich was left off the 20-man list. According to Storm athletic trainer Brian Moore, Rich fractured the distal portion of his right clavical, or collarbone, during last Friday's game at Trenton when he collided with a Titans' skater. Under normal circumstances, the injury takes three to six weeks to heal.
“I knew something was wrong,” said Rich who had no goals and two assists in 64 games. “Normally, the pain will go away when you get to the bench. This one didn't.
“It's disappointing. This is the biggest time of the year.”
The Storm begins its most important season with home games Friday and Saturday versus Roanoke. Toledo has home-ice advantage in the best-of-five first round series.
Game 3 will be in Roanoke April 12. Should they be required, Game 4 will be at Roanoke April 14 with Game 5 back in Toledo on April 17.
“We're very solid,” Storm coach Dennis Holland said. “We've assembled a hard-working group of guys with solid goaltending. I like our chances.”
Toledo finished eighth in the league with 82 points and led the league in goals scored with 262. In Andrew Williamson (97 points) and James Patterson (96 points), Toledo had two of the top four scorers in the ECHL.
“It doesn't matter,” general manager Pat Pylypuik said. “The real season starts Friday.”