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Published: Sunday, 3/12/2006

Zultek helps Storm rebound

BY LEN BARDSLEY
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

TRENTON, N.J. - Matt Zultek spent years making life miserable for opponents at Sovereign Bank Arena as a forward for the Trenton Titans.

Yesterday he made sure some old friends were miserable.

Zultek played his first game here as a visitor, and scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Toledo Storm past the Titans 5-1.

The Titans will host the Storm again today at 3 o'clock.

The loss was the seventh in a row for the Titans, while the Storm showed the resolve to shake off a tough defeat at Reading on Friday night. Zultek's main concern yesterday was making sure the Storm didn't lose any more ground to the first-place Royals.

"This is a big win for us," said Zultek, whose goal in the first period ended up being the game-winner behind a 23-save effort from Drew MacIntyre. "We don't get down [after a loss] and start losing back-to-back games. We try to get right back on the winning streak."

The Storm picked up some momentum late in the second period.

The Titans had a lengthy two-man advantage with Gerry Burke in the penalty box for hooking and Ryan Reid in the box for arguing the call.

As the Storm tried to skate off the five-on-three, forward Ken Magowan broke his stick, in essence giving the Titans a three-man advantage. MacIntyre made a pad save on a Mike Jarmuth wrist shot and held the rebound, the only attempt on goal with the Storm scrambling.

A few moments after Reid got out of the penalty box he stole the puck from Brian McConnell along the boards and fired a wrist shot through the pads of Rejean Beauchemin to give the Storm a 3-1 lead with 1:12 left in the second period.

"We were not very good in the second period and they were good," said Storm coach Nick Vitucci. "I felt for the second period we kind of hung on. We killed that [two-man advantage] off and scored that goal late. That was huge. They seemed in the third period not to be the same team they were in the second period."

The Storm put the game away in the third period on goals by Matt Schmidt and Jason Maleyko.

"We probably played better last night than we did tonight," said Vitucci.

"Last night three mistakes cost us three goals. I am happy we followed that up with a win today. I remember being here about a month ago.

"We had a 4-1 win in the first game and we had our lunch handed to us in the second game. We can't take them for granted."

Magowan gave the Storm a 1-0 lead in the first period when he picked up a loose puck and fired a wrist shot over the shoulder of Beauchemin with 9:19 left.

Zultek gave the Storm a 2-0 advantage with 6:17 left in the first period, slipping around Aaron Wilson coming down the wing before snapping a wrist shot that beat Beauchemin inside the near post.

"The big thing for me is confidence," said Zultek, who now has four goals and four assists in 10 games with the Storm after being acquired from Greenville. "Nick [Vitucci] has a lot of confidence in me.

"He puts me out there in key situations, situations I have always succeeded in."



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