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Published: Sunday, 1/8/2006

Keefe, Storm beat Wheeling by a hair

BY MARKY BILLSON
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

WHEELING, W.Va. - If there was a cliche that could best describe last night's 2-1 Toledo Storm victory over the Wheeling Nailers, it was "familiarity breeds contempt."

For the second straight night the ECHL North rivals played aggressive, penalty-filled hockey.

And like on Friday, the Storm took the initial lead on a power-play goal, and once again the Nailers tied the score doing the same.

But the similarities ended there. The Nailers rallied to win Friday at the Sports Arena. But last night Toledo's Adam Keefe scored the game-winner with

7:17 left in the third period.

"Kenny [Magowan] passed it to Jeff [Attard] coming down and it went off his skate and came to me. The goalie was out of position and I was lucky enough to get it in," said Keefe. "We needed an ugly one to get the win."

Keefe's goal, his 11th of the season, was emblematic of the pushing and shoving throughout the game. He scored it without his helmet on, allowing all 3,812 fans in the WesBanco Arena to see his long hair flowing about like a rock star in his post-goal celebration.

"[My helmet] got knocked off earlier in the shift," Keefe said. "I always kind of wanted to play with the bucket off. [Coach Nick Vitucci] was joking it was an 'old school' goal."

Throughout the game there seemed to be an abundance of pushing and shoving, though again nobody dropped the gloves. In all, 23 penalties were called after 19 were recorded the night before.

"That's the way things happen when you play multiple games," Keefe said. "We have to play every game like it's a playoff game. Those guys are ahead of us. We're here to make up as much ground as possible."

The 14-10-4 Storm moved to within 12 points of the 21-9-2 Nailers, who are tied with Reading for the division lead.

Chris Bright scored Toledo's first goal in the first period.



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