The Storm surrendered a two-goal advantage with five minutes left and the Dayton Bombers stole an ECHL victory in a shootout last night at the Sports Arena.
Toledo held a 3-1 lead with
5:09 remaining in regulation, but then yielded two goals. The Bombers had their goaltender pulled when they tied it with 21 seconds left.
The teams went scoreless in overtime and Jay Latulippe was the only player to score in the five-man shootout as his Bombers prevailed 4-3 before a stunned crowd of 3,397 fans.
"I think we sat back and
relaxed and just assumed some things out there," said Storm coach Nick Vitucci. "Then we were mesmerized for a bit."
Toledo dropped to 2-1-1 and the Bombers moved to 2-1-0 with all three of their games coming against the Storm this season.
"I thought it was a very evenly played game," said Dayton coach Don MacAdam, whose team faces Toledo 10 more times this season. "I think this will be a very entertaining series all year long."
Toledo enforcer Robert Snowball looked more like a 50-goal scorer when he tallied a marker that looked like it had sealed the deal at 3-1. Snowball skated in all alone, made a juke to his right and went to the backhand with a shot to the top left corner of the net. "He likes that backhand move and he showed why,"
But Dayton pulled back within one on Tyson Teplitsky's goal. Then with 1:26 left MacAdam pulled Mike Ayers and his Bombers consistently won faceoffs in the Storm's zone. Jeff Szwez scored the tying goal on a rebound with just 21 ticks left.
"They pulled their goalie and consistently got shots to our net," Vitucci said. "The big key was the faceoffs. We didn't win those."
MacAdam said his team showed a lot of patience and did not get flustered.
"We won four or five faceoffs in a row down there and the other guys away from the faceoff outnumbered Toledo around the puck," MacAdam said.
Toledo out shot Dayton 3-1 in overtime with Ken Magowan and Scooter Smith getting good chances. In the shootout, Latulippe was the first skater and scored with a nifty move that put Storm goalie Chad Collins on his back.
Toledo's Mark Turner, Smith, Magowan, Todd Jackson and Jason Maleyko all could not beat Ayers, who made 29 saves in regulation. Ayers stopped 45 shots in the Bombers' 4-2 win over Toledo last Saturday,
"You hope out of five guys, one will be able to score," Vitucci said.
"But it's tough when a goalie is playing big like that."
The Bombers posted the game's first goal on a blistering slap shot from Brian Gornick early in the second. Toledo tied it on rookie Adam Keefe's first goal as a professional. Defenseman Bracken Kearns sent a wrister on net and Keefe, who was stationed at the side of the net, tipped it in to make it 1-1 midway through the second period.
"Keefe gave a phenomenal
effort tonight," Vitucci said.
Good hard work in the
offensive end by Jackson set up Toledo's second goal. Jackson maintained control, sent a shot in on Ayers and Jeff Attard cleaned up the rebound in front to give the Storm a 2-1 advantage with 8:28 left in the second stanza.
Vitucci said Collins, who made 26 saves, was solid.
"I'm not worried about our offense. The key is our team defense," Vitucci said. "We still have a chance for a three-point weekend, so we can't hang our heads about this."