TRENTON, N.J. - They won't hang their heads over this one, and they shouldn't.
But every member of the Storm knows they could've strutted out of this state capital city, basking in the glow of a second straight win at Sovereign Bank Arena, instead of limping along the turnpike en route to Atlantic City.
Alas, the former wasn't meant to be. Not after the Trenton Titans made the latter a given by winning 4-2 thanks to three third-period goals last night before 4,559 fans.
"We're two very evenly matched teams, and that shows," said Storm coach Nick Vitucci. "I take that as a good thing because Trenton is a quality, opportunistic club. But it sure would've felt good to get the win."
Two nights earlier, the Storm had embarrassed the Titans here. That win had given Toledo some breathing room in the ECHL National Conference Northern Division standings. This loss, though, makes things ridiculously tight.
Trenton (25-15-7, 57 points) not only gained ground on second-place Toledo (28-17-4, 60), but so did Reading and AC, both of which have 58 points.
With Vince Williams and Bryce Cockburn tallying goals at the 6:27 and 6:58 marks of the third, and Rick Kowalsky adding an empty-netter in the final two minutes, the Storm's current streak ended at one. It has, however, won nine of its last 11.
The Storm got on the board first with Scooter Smith slipping the puck past Andrew Allen 10:37 into the initial period. Though the Titans appeared to be controlling the action, Toledo was racking up more shots on goal and eventually that paid off as Smith accepted a pass from right winger Todd Jackson.
Allen returned the favor by stonewalling Tyler Knight after the right winger intercepted a pass for the Storm and drove in on the Trenton goalie five minutes and change into the second.
Mike Miller, Storm vice president and general manager, has announced that the Stanley Cup will be on display at the Sports Arena next Saturday when the Storm plays host to Johnstown.
The cup will be available for viewing along with exhibits from the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Friday through Sunday will be the Storm's Hockey Hall of Fame weekend. The Exhibition Hall of the Toledo Sports Arena will be filled with historical hockey exhibits, including The Legends: Past and Present and the NHLPA Be A Player Zone.