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Published: Friday, 12/31/2004

Trenton halts Storm streak at 3

SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

TRENTON, N.J. - This edition of the Toledo Storm might be better suited to the bigger ice surfaces on the road than its cozy confines at the Sports Arena.

That suit certainly didn't fit last night in a 6-1 loss to the Trenton Titans at Sovereign Bank Arena. The Titans out-skated, out-hit and flat-out dominated the Storm to snap Toledo's three-game winning streak.

"We've been a fragile team," said Storm coach Nick Vitucci. "If things go south, we put our heads down and let it go further south. We've got to find a way to change the momentum and keep it in our favor. We just have too many peaks and valleys."

The Storm (13-10-3, fourth in ECHL North) fell behind 2-0 in the first period, pulled to within 3-1 midway through the second but failed to sustain the momentum, going scoreless on two power plays early in the third before Trenton exploded for three unanswered goals.

"We get down a few goals and tuck our tails between our legs," said forward Sam Paolini. "When we got to within 3-1, we knew the next goal would be huge. We started pressing, and when it didn't happen for us, we just quit mentally and physically. It's frustrating."

The Storm had won three straight with Scott Fankhouser in goal, but Vitucci opted to go with Logan Koopmans to open a stretch of three road games in four days.

"I told my goalies before the season that I would go with the hot hand but I would make sure the cold hand didn't get too cold," said Vitucci, a stellar ECHL goaltender in his playing days.

HANOVER, N.H. - Goaltender David Cacciola set the tone in the first period and his Providence team went on to a 3-2 victory over Bowling Green State University in the consolation game of the Ledyard National Bank Tournament.

The Falcons outshot the Friars 16-7 in the first period, but Providence went to the first break with a 2-1 lead. Providence (6-10-2) outshot BG (8-7-3) in each of the final two periods and the Falcons ended up with only a 37-35 overall shot advantage.

Ryan Minnabarriet and James Unger scored the BG goals.



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