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Published: Thursday, 12/28/2006

Dartmouth grad helps Toledo to victory over Johnstown

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
The Storm s Jeff Attard, left, tries to gather in a rebound after a shot on Johnstown goalie Morgan Cey.
The Storm s Jeff Attard, left, tries to gather in a rebound after a shot on Johnstown goalie Morgan Cey.
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The longer defenseman P.J. Martin refrains from joining the real world, the better it will be for the Toledo Storm.

Martin, who spent parts of two seasons with the Storm and began last year as the team's captain, decided a few months ago to give up professional hockey after failing to catch on in the American Hockey League.

Now 25 years old and educated at Dartmouth College, Martin is looking for an actual job in finance, but hasn't had any luck to this point.

While his search continues, he's decided to lace up his skates with the Storm in the meantime, and made his 2006-07 Sports Arena debut in Toledo's 4-2 triumph over the Johnstown Chiefs last night.

Martin, who played two games for the Storm in Trenton earlier this season, finished with three assists and was chosen as one of the game's three stars.

Storm coach Nick Vitucci said he could get used to Martin hanging around the unemployment line for a while.

"I'm happy about him not finding a job, but I don't know if his wife is," Vitucci said. "He's showing the type of character he has to come down here and help us out. And I told him if something happens and he finds a job, we'll be happy to use him while we can."

Martin said he has stayed in shape this season by helping coach a high school team near his hometown just outside of Boston. He had previously made up his mind that he was done playing in the East Coast Hockey League, but his return to the Storm has caused some second thoughts about walking away from the game.

"I missed playing hockey while being off for two months," Martin said. "Now that I'm here, I'd like to be here until the end of the season. But it is still the [ECHL], so you can't make a ton of money by playing."

Martin had two assists in a third period that saw the Storm (14-11-0-1) outshoot Johnstown 16-4. He was in on Gerry Burke's slap shot 5:45 into the period that proved to be the game winner, and also assisted Jeff Attard on his empty-net goal with :08 to go.

Attard also scored in the second period when he redirected Mitch Maunu's slap shot past Chiefs goaltender Morgan Cey.

Toledo's other goal came from Matt Zultek, who rebounded his own shot and scored in the first period.

All of the Storms' goals came via the power play. Cey, who recorded 59 saves in Johnstown's 5-2 win over Toledo on Saturday, registered 48 stops last night and foiled eight other Storm power plays.

"We knew he was a quality goaltender," Vitucci said. "But being an old goaltender myself, I have a newfound respect for his abilities. He had a sensational two games here."

Storm goalie Dominic Vicari stopped 21 of 23 shots.

Contact Joe Vardon at: jvardon@theblade.com or 419-410-5055.



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