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Published: Saturday, 12/10/2005

Gritty Storm runs out of steam Las Vegas erupts late for 3 goals

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Rick Judson (20), a nine-year Storm veteran who signed a contract yesterday, battles Matt Dzieduszycki for the puck. Rick Judson (20), a nine-year Storm veteran who signed a contract yesterday, battles Matt Dzieduszycki for the puck.
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The Toledo Storm could muster just 15 shots on goal against Las Vegas, but amazingly stayed in the game until the Wranglers erupted for three goals in the third period.

Toledo's min-

uscule shot total was 20 below its season average as the Storm fell for just the second time at the Sports Arena. Las Vegas put 36 shots on net and Dan Tudin scored a hat trick as the Wranglers whipped Toledo 5-2. The Storm (9-6-3) did not reach double figures in shots until 14:47 was left in the game, posting just four in the first period and three in the second.

"We've done a good job this year limiting shots on goal," said Las Vegas coach Glen Gulutzan. "We knew this was going to be a tough building to play in. This is a small barn and we wanted to get lots of shots and try to get to the net."

The Wranglers (14-4-2) have the second-most points in the ECHL, while the Storm dropped its second straight game and fourth in the last seven games.

Toledo's previous lowest shot total was 25 in a game against Wheeling. The fewest the Storm had posted in a period was seven. Utah has the fewest shots in a game in the ECHL this season with 13.

Toledo came into the game averaging 35.88 shots per game, fourth-best in the ECHL. But the Wranglers' came in giving up a league-low 26 shots per contest.

"They played well," said Storm coach Nick Vitucci. "But we weren't very good in the neutral zone. We had a lot of turnovers that resulted in shots against. If we get the puck in deep like we're supposed to, we might get a few more shots."

The teams will face off again tonight at 7:35 at One Main Street.

Defenseman Gerry Burke had a goal and assist for the Storm. Mike James scored Toledo's other goal, his fourth of the season.

Chris Stanley scored two goals for Las Vegas, which improved to a perfect 11-0-1 when outshooting its opponents.

Just as the Storm was flying around while trailing by one midway through the third period, Tudin netted his second goal of the game to jolt the 3,367 spectators. He then iced it with a goal a little more than five minutes later.

Toledo trailed by just one after two periods despite getting outshot by 11.

"I felt we were still in the game even though we had only seven shots through two periods," Vitucci said. "We were only down 2-1 and we were still in a position to win the game. But that third goal to start the third period was not they way we wanted to start it."

Storm goalie David Cann

(2-4-0) struggled in net in his first appearance replacing the injured Logan Koopmans. Cann, who made 31 saves on 36 shots, surrendered a goal just 35 seconds into the final period.

"Dave has been fighting the puck the last couple of days in practice and it showed tonight," Vitucci said. "He could have had three of those that went by him.

"We have to use this and learn from it," Vitucci said. "We have a great chance to redeem ourselves [tonight]. We can still make strides this weekend and go 2-1."

TOLEDO TIDBITS: The Storm made a bevy of roster moves yesterday. Toledo acquired forward Jeff Doyle from the Utah Grizzlies, signed Toledo native Rick Judson to a contract and added goaltender Bryan Worosz as an emergency backup.

Judson, who has tallied 441 points in nine previous seasons with the Storm, was the only newcomer who played in last night's game.

Doyle appeared in 20 games this season with Utah collecting three assists.

Worosz is in his first professional season and has played in three games with Austin of the Central Hockey League. He was 1-2-0 with a 4.37 goals-against average. Worosz will sign a contract today and start in tonight's game, according to Vitucci.

"He is a good goaltender," Vitucci said. "He was the team MVP and the top goaltender in the league at Canisius College."

Contact Mark Monroe at:

mmonroe@theblade.com

or 419-724-6110.



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