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Published: 3/23/2003

Dayton topples Storm in shootout

SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

FAIRBORN, Ohio - It wasn't a single problem that plagued the Storm last night - it wasn't that easy.

“I haven't seen this bad a game all season,” Toledo coach Claude Noel said. “We made poor decisions all night. It was a hard game to coach. It was a hard game to watch.”

It was a slow start but a big finish for the Bombers as Dayton bounced back from a 4-2 loss in Toledo Friday, edging the Storm 3-2 in a shootout on home ice last night.

The Bombers snapped the Storm's four-game winning streak before a crowd of 5,492 at the Nutter Center.

Dayton, which has been eliminated from playoff contention, improved to 22-35-10 by out-shooting the Storm 63-35.

“There were too many things to pinpoint what went wrong,” Noel said.

The Bombers had their opportunities early, out- shooting the Storm 24-10 in the first period.

Toledo defenseman Paul Ballantyne, however, was the first to find the net as he and right wing Tim Verbeek capitalized on a two-on-one scoring opportunity in the closing minute of the opening period. The Storm led 1-0 going into the intermission.

Neither team could generate much offense in the second period as the Storm narrowly out-shot the Bombers 11-7, but neither team managed to light up the scoreboard and the score remained 1-0 in favor of Toledo after two periods.

Dayton center Jamie Ling evened the contest midway through the third period as he skated around the back of the Storm goal and slipped a shot past goaltender Mike Minard with 10:51 to play.

Bombers defenseman Mike Vellinga followed suit five minutes later to give the Bombers their first lead of the night, 2-1.

Storm left wing Andre Payette pushed the game into overtime with a late third-period goal, tying the contest 2-2. But the Storm didn't get a single shot on goal in overtime while Dayton drilled 10 at Minard.

“We didn't even deserve a shot,” Noel said. “I'm not sure we deserved to go to overtime.”

After 65 minutes of hockey and 16 shootout rounds, it would all come down to a single shot.

Bombers forward Richard Naumann beat Minard for the game-winner.

There is no time to dwell on the loss as the Storm, 45-14-9, wraps up three games in three days with a contest against Johnstown today at the Sports Arena.

“We need to move past this,” Noel said. “This isn't the way we play. But, maybe, it's better to get this game out of the way.”



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