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Published: Sunday, 11/20/2005

Johnstown defense quiets Storm

Toledo's Jeff Attard tries to push the puck past Johnstown goalie Morgan Cey in the first period of last night's game. Toledo's Jeff Attard tries to push the puck past Johnstown goalie Morgan Cey in the first period of last night's game.

The offensively depleted Toledo Storm failed to capitalize on its first seven power plays as the Johnstown Chiefs won 5-2 in front of 3,473 fans last night at the Sports Arena.

It was Toledo's second loss in two nights.

It was only the second win of the season for Johnstown (2-6-4), which avenged two earlier losses to the Storm.

The Storm, which lost Scooter Smith, Ken Magowan and Todd Jackson to call-ups last week, was blanked by Johnstown goaltender Morgan Cey for the first two periods.

Their absences left Toledo looking for someone to take charge of the offense.

"I like the guys we have right here in this locker room," Toledo coach Nick Vitucci said after the game. "We were right in the game until we had a couple of unfortunate breaks in the third period. We played hard but we just didn't get the breaks."

Toledo trailed 1-0 after the first two periods but looked like it had finally seized momentum when Brad Bonello zipped a high slap shot past Cey with 17:08 left in the game to tie the score.

But Johnstown struck back with two goals 1 1/2 minutes apart to take control again.

Toledo had many opportunities to get on the scoreboard, but was constantly turned back by Cey and the Johnstown defense.

Johnstown came into the game with the worst penalty-killing unit in the ECHL. The Chiefs, though, managed to kill seven Toledo power plays over the first two periods.

By the time Bracken Kearn scored on Toledo's eighth power-play chance, Johnstown was already up three goals.

"You have to give credit to them," Vitucci said. "They played very well in killing penalties. But we certainly played well enough to win."

Referees broke up two fights in the third period, which saw Toledo right wing Adam Keefe leave the game for a game misconduct.

"I wish I could comment [on referee calls], but I can't," Vitucci said. "Make sure you print it just like that."

Contact Clyde Hughes at: chughes@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.

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