LEXINGTON, Ky. - All the Toledo Storm got for Valentine's Day was a broken heart.
Heart-breaking saves by Dan Murphy, plus a three-goal, two-assist night by Marc-Andre Thinel gave the Lexington Men O' War a 5-2 victory over the Storm last night in Rupp Arena.
“Their goaltending versus ours was really the difference,” Storm coach Claude Noel said. “He [Murphy] made some huge saves in the second period. It really could have turned the game around, and he answered the bell when he had to. And our guy was average.”
Murphy stopped 36 shots, including 14 in the second period. Mike Minard gave up five goals on 28 shots before being yanked and replaced by Dave Marlin.
Lexington's Fraser Clair scored two goals and Brett Draney had four assists.
Injuries and call-ups forced the Men O'War to play with just four defensemen.
The Storm, winless in its last six road games (0-4-2), returns home tonight to meet Lexington at 7:30 for the third time in four nights.
Clair and Thinel gave Lexington an early 2-0 lead. Thinel's goal was unassisted, four-on-four, after he stole the puck from Grady Moore in front of the Storm bench.
Nick Parillo's team-leading 19th goal at 12:27 of the first cut the deficit to 2-1.
“[Wes] Mason gave me a nice pass and really set me up,” Parillo said. “I was walking in on kind of a bad angle and just buried my head and shot.”
Tim Verbeek's power-play goal at 6:55 of the second tied it, but Murphy took over from there.
An unsuccessful Storm flurry of shots led to an end-to-end reversal. Thinel capitalized by finding the puck in a goal-mouth scramble and poking it past Minard.
“We kept buzzing around their net and their goalie ended up coming up pretty big for them,” Verbeek said. “Made some key saves.”
Even Thinel was surprised by his hat-trick goal, at 7:37 of the third.
“I wanted to go change the line,” he said. “I slapped it and it went in. That's great. A hat trick, that's always good.”
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