Toledo's Noah Whyte (12) holds off Trenton's Steve Cygan in an attempt to clear room for teammate Reggie Savage (33) in front of goaltender Andrew Allen. The Storm led 2-1 in the first period.
It's been said that change is inevitable.
In the case of the Storm, it's necessary.
In a carbon-copy of Friday night, Toledo grabbed a one-goal lead after 20 minutes of play last evening against Trenton at the Sports Arena.
And, as was the case in a 4-3 loss to the Titans the night before, the Storm watched Trenton rally and take the lead heading into the third period.
And, like Friday, despite the best offensive efforts of Sam Paolini who followed his two-goal performance with a goal and an assist last night, Toledo lost.
The final was 5-2.
Despite playing its last five at home, the 9-8-3 Storm has dropped three in a row and five of its last six while falling to sixth place in the ECHL North.
"We've got guys right now, that I think are looking up to us as a coaching staff on how do we improve?'' Toledo coach Nick Vitucci said. "It's going to have to be a personnel thing and it's going to have to be pretty quickly.
"We have to make some changes. We need to find someone in our league or outside of our league who can come in and help us in the areas that we need.''
One might say that could be just about anywhere, but the Storm's biggest need right now is on the offensive side of the puck and in leadership by example.
Paolini has certainly done his part. Last night, he set up the first goal on the very first shot of the contest. At the end of his shift, Paolini circled the Titans' net and fed Ty Hennes who was coming onto the ice during a line change. Hennes hammered a one-timer behind goalie Andrew Allen.
The marker came 48 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Toledo dominated the first 10 minutes, outshooting the visitors 10-1, but it took the Titans just two shots to knot the score as Phil Lewandowski cashed in a Rick Judson turnover.
Paolini then rose to the occasion again.
With his team shorthanded, the Cornell University product came off the bench just as defense-
man P.J. Martin was bouncing a clearing pass off the center-ice boards. The disc bounded right to Paolini and he raced in with a clean breakaway, beating Allen short-side at 12:27 of the first.
But that was it for Toledo. The Storm stopped finishing its checks in a second period that saw it outshot 16-5 and outscored 2-0. Lewandowski scored again followed by Brent Robinson. In the third, Rick Kowalsky and Scott Bertoli finished it off.
"They won every battle in the first period,'' Trenton coach Mike Haviland said. "We felt we won every battle after that.''
Toledo's next fight is to improve its roster.
"They've given guys every opportunity in the world,'' Paolini said. "Guys have been playing pretty steadily and if you're not producing, you're not producing. Something has to change. Nick has given everyone an opportunity, he's been straight-forward with them and when the change happens, it's not because the person didn't have the opportunity.''
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