SPECIAL TO THE BLADE
WHEELING, W.Va. - Embarking on a seven-game road trip after opening the season with three victories at home, the Toledo Storm fell victim to the desperate Wheeling Nailers, 2-1 in a marathon overtime shootout last night.
With a near full house of 4,754 looking on in Wheeling's home opener, the Storm appeared headed to a 1-0 defeat until a late slashing penalty called on the Nailers' Kenny Corupe at 18:02 of the third period gave the visitors a final opportunity.
After pulling goaltender Scott Fankhouser with 1:12 remaining, Toledo avoided near disaster when Wheeling's Brendon Hodge was pulled down from behind with no penalty call.
Finally, the Storm got the equalizer with 46 seconds left when Nick Parillo was credited with a goal when the puck actually went off the skate of the Nailers' T.J. Reynolds and trickled past goalie Dany Sabourin.
The five-minute overtime saw both teams whistled for a penalty, but no scoring resulted. In the shootout, Toledo's first shooter, Sam Paolini, beat Sabourin to the stick side and the tally nearly held up. Down to their fifth and final skater, Wheeling tied it when Ed McGrane lifted the puck top-shelf over the outstretched glove of Fankhouser.
In the ninth round of sudden death, Ray DiLauro beat the Toledo goalie with a wrist shot to give Wheeling its first win.