Undisciplined, unprepared and underachieving.
There may not be three words which better describe the Toledo Storm's lackluster 5-2 loss to Peoria last night at the Sports Arena. It was Toledo's second consecutive loss to the Rivermen, after falling 4-3 in a shootout Friday in Illinois.
Toledo is now 2-4-1 in the young East Coast Hockey League season.
How bad was Toledo's performance? Let us count the ways.
t One night after watching Peoria fire 16 unanswered shots from the start of the game, the Storm allowed the Rivermen an 11-0 first-period shot advantage in the rematch.
t After being outshot 57-26 on Friday, Toledo was outshot 45-35 at home.
t The Storm's man-advantage unit, which had trouble breaking out of its own zone, went scoreless in seven opportunities.
t Toledo gave up a shorthanded goal with just 19 seconds remaining in the first period, increasing Peoria's lead to 3-0. The team was booed on its way to the lockeroom by the crowd of 4,330.
t Trailing 3-1 and already playing shorthanded midway through the second period, Storm veteran defenseman Matt Ruchty was whistled for a dumb, two-minute delay-of-game penalty when he knocked the net off its moorings behind Toledo goalie Ryan Hoople. Given a 47-second, two-man power play, the Rivermen scored.
t Peoria enjoyed 10 odd-man situations because of Storm penalties, scoring three times.
“We were stupid tonight,” Storm coach Dennis Holland said. “In penalties, making plays, intensity. We weren't smart in any aspect of the hockey game.”
After winning its first two games of the season, an undisciplined Toledo team has dropped five consecutive games.
“How do you change it?” Storm captain Rob Thorpe asked. “Through discipline, discipline, that's all you can do. If a guy takes a dumb penalty, I think its time to put them on the bench.”
Holland said it's time to do more. It's time to get some of the skaters off the bench. Permanently.
“You get new guys in here if you change it,” Holland said. “You talk to them, talk to them and talk to them and they keep doing the same stuff.”
Asked to comment on Toledo's play, Peoria coach Jason Christie referred to a third-period scrap between Jason Norrie and Peoria's Shawn Mamane. The visitor started a fight after Norrie dumped Rivermen right wing Bret Meyers with a clean, open ice hit.
Norrie pounded Mamane, then dusted his hands off in the penalty box.
“I guess it sums (the Storm's effort) up when Norrie's wiping his hands to our bench after the fight,” Christie said. “Personally, good job for Mamane getting his nose in there. It's not how many you win, it's how many you show up for.”
Last night, many of the Storm players were nowhere to be found.
NOTES: Toledo defenseman Mark McMahon (head injury) did not play. ... Tough guy Ken Tasker makes his first appearance in Toledo on Friday since being released by the Storm at the beginning of last season. Tasker plays for Wheeling. ... The Junior A Storm beat Jackson 3-1 last night.
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