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Published: Thursday, 10/12/2006

Storm loses its exhibition opener to Alaska on road

The Toledo Storm dropped its preseason opener to the defending Kelly Cup champions late Tuesday night.

Toledo opened its exhibition schedule in Alaska and dropped a 3-1 decision to the Aces. Alaska scored the first two goals before the Storm answered in the third period.

Defenseman Mitch Maunu scored Toledo's goal with assists from Troy Barnes and Scooter Smith, who served at the team's captain. Goalie Logan Koopmans made 26 saves.

Toledo defenseman Paul Crosty had nine penalty minutes. Right winger Taylor Raszka had a team-high four shots along with seven penalty minutes.

"It's been a great trip," said Storm coach Nick Vitucci. "A lot of the younger guys separated themselves from the other young guys. That is what this trip was for."

The ECHL suspended Alaska defenseman Steven Later for one game for an instigator penalty at 16:30 of the third period. Under a recent rule, any player deemed to be the instigator of fisticuffs during the last five minutes of the game or overtime is automatically suspended from his team's next game.

The Storm and Aces met again late last night.

Vitucci said he expects to make the final roster cuts after tomorrow night's exhibition game against Cincinnati.

All tickets for that lone preseason game at the Sports Arena against the Cyclones at 7:30 p.m. are just $10.

The regular-season opener is Oct. 20 against rival Dayton at 7:35 at the Sports Arena. Single game and season tickets are available. Contact the Storm ticket office at 419-691-0200 or visit www.toledostorm.com for more information.

- Mark Monroe

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