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Published: Monday, 1/16/2006

Goalie keeps Storm in game

BY DON STEWART
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

READING, Pa. In three shortened seasons with the Toledo Storm, goalie Drew MacIntyre hasn t put together much of a highlight reel.

Yesterday afternoon, the 22-year-old backstop was the difference as the Storm held off the Reading Royals 4-3 at the Sovereign Center.

An injury ended his rookie year after just 11 starts. Last season, he was only between the pipes for two games with Toledo as he spent most of 2004-05 with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.

In his third stint with the Storm, MacIntyre is finally showing Toledo why the Detroit Red Wings drafted him in the fourth round back in 2001.

MacIntyre made 32 saves, including 13 in the third period as his team held off a furious Royals rally. He also stoned Reading s Chris Bala on a handful of breakaways, including two early in the third.

It was the second straight solid performance for MacIntyre, who had 28 saves in Saturday night s 7-3 win at Johnstown. He was assigned to Toledo (16-11-2) on Jan. 2 after going 8-3-0 with a 2.53 goals-against average in Grand Rapids.

He was huge, Storm coach Nick Vitucci said. We don t know how long we re gonna have him, but while we do have him it s nice to see that he s playing at the top of his game.

Reading (23-9-2), the co-North Division leader, got on the board 32 seconds into the game on defenseman Jeff State s first goal of the year. Toledo answered eight minutes later on a Ken Magowan power-play goal from the right circle, then grabbed the lead midway through the period when Gerry Burke scored on a face-off play from the point.

With 1:13 remaining in the second, Royals goalie Yutaka Fukufuji (31 saves) stopped Chris Blight s short-handed breakaway, but Jeff Attard skated onto the rebound to make it 3-1.

Reading came back with a Doug Christiansen goal 18 second later, but Blight picked up the eventual game-winner 3:07 into the third on a power play when he swatted in a deflected Mike James shot from near the right pipe.

MacIntyre made several tough stops to help Toledo kill two power plays, but the speedy Bala finally beat him on a breakaway with 4:21 to play. The Royals had plenty of chances to tie, including a T.J. Kemp slap shot from the point with 30 seconds to play, but MacIntyre didn t let anything through.

He played great, Reading coach Karl Taylor said. We had lots of opportunities. We just didn t bury [the puck] today."



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