FAIRBORN, Ohio - Toledo Storm coach Claude Noel doesn't want 20 players. He wants a team.
“I was a little disappointed in the second period because that looked to me like 20 individuals,” Noel said. “We played more like a team in the third.”
Teamwork paid off as the Storm, in its third game in four nights, got back on the winning track with a 4-2 win over Dayton in front of 4,020 at the Wright State University Nutter Center.
“We found a way to win,” Noel said. “It wasn't pretty but it was a win.”
The Storm had few opportunities but plenty of goals in the first period.
Toledo center Nathan Robinson fed Alexander Jacques a flawless pass in front of the goal and the right wing found the net to open up the scoring at the 7:46 mark in the first period. It was only the second shot on goal for the Storm.
The lead, however, was short lived as the Bombers took advantage of a power-play opportunity less than two minutes later.
Jamie Ling fired one past Storm goaltender Doug Teskey to even the contest 1-1.
Storm center Dale Junkin helped Toledo regain its lead late in the period and Jacques added his second goal of the night with just over a minute to play as Toledo led 3-1 after one period. The Storm had been outshot 20-8 but led in the statistic that counted - goals.
“Several of our defensemen didn't rise to the challenge,” Bombers coach Greg Ireland said.
The Bombers offense, however, continued to drill Teskey and finally closed the gap to 3-2 as Dayton left wing Andrew Ianiero stuffed the puck and Tesky into the net midway through the second period. The Storm was unable to answer and closed out the period with an identical eight shots on goal.
Jacques sealed the win for the Storm early in the third period as the Toledo right wing was in the right place at the right time. All alone in front of the net, Jacques slapped in his third goal of the night, giving Toledo a 4-2 lead.
“Our line with Jacques, Junkin and Robinson really made the difference,” Noel said. “And Tesky played well for us.”
The first-place Storm improved to 13-2-1 with the win, while the Bombers fell to 6-8-2.39.82715 -84.02213