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Published: Saturday, 1/3/2004

Wheeling whips struggling Storm


With team captain J.C. Ruid and linemate Jason Jaffray lighting the lamp twice each, the Wheeling Nailers continued to roll last night with a 5-0 blanking of the struggling Toledo Storm at WesBanco Arena.

It was the Nailers second win in three nights over the Storm. Coach Nick Vitucci s team had to leave town somewhat shellshocked after having been outshot 87-40 and outscored 14-3 in the two games.

Wheeling, meanwhile, turned in a near-perfect performance last night while protecting its hold on first-place in the ECHL s Northern Division. The Nailers improved their overall record to 21-9-2 with a total of 44 points.

Toledo, last year s top club in the Northern Division, is buried in seventh place this season with a disappointing 12-14-3 record and only 27 points.

After watching his team manhandled by the Nailers, Vitucci claimed he had no doubt about the No. 1 team in the ECHL s Northern Division.

Wheeling is the best team I have seen at this point in the season, he said. They are at the top of their game while we are a team that is struggling a lot due to numbers, injuries and call-ups. We re also not playing very well.

Nick Boucher, the Nailers standout netminder, experienced an easy night between the pipes as he was called on to make only 16 saves. It was the third shutout of the year for the rookie out of Dartmouth, who is 4-0 against Toledo.

DULUTH, Minn. - Minnesota-Duluth scored four goals in the first period and went on to defeat Bowling Green State University 6-1.

Mike Falk scored for the Falcons (4-9-6) at 4:08 of the opening period, with an assist from Mark Wires.

Luke Stauffacher scored three goals for Minnesota-Duluth (10-8-2), with two coming in the first period and one in the third.

BG goalie Jordan Sigalet stopped 35 of 41 shots.

The two teams will play again tonight at 8.:05.

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