Despite a Dayton Bomber "Give Toledo back to Michigan" promotion tonight there, the Toledo Storm played last night like the only move it wants to make is up the North Division East Coast Hockey League standings.
Jeff Attard scored two first-period goals and goalie Dominic Vicari had one of his best games of the season in a 4-2 victory at the Sports Arena.
The two teams play again tonight in Dayton, where fans will sign a petition asking Gov. Jennifer Granholm to annex Toledo in a tongue-in-cheek promotion with a local radio station.
Vicari blanked Dayton over the first two periods to help Toledo to its second straight win and its third in the Storm's last four games.
"I thought he played great," said Storm coach Nick Vitucci.
"He made some big saves for us at key times in this game. They got a couple of power plays on him [in the third period], but he played about as well as we could ask of him."
Vicari shone the best in the second period with the Storm up 2-0, when Dayton was playing with a two-man advantage. Vicari turned away three shots from close range that left the Bombers scratching their heads.
"Things were starting to wind down in the period and you saw in the third period how they got momentum after the third goal so I just tried to hold them off as long as I could," Vicari said.
Dayton coach Don MacAdam saw it as his team giving Toledo opportunity after opportunity to break the game open. All four of the Storm's goals came on power plays.
"We had a lot of stupid penalties," MacAdam said. "They are really tough to play in this building and it's hard to play with them at full strength, much less short-handed.
''Most teams have set plays in 5-on-3 situations and we didn't come close to executing ours.
"That's not taking anything away from their [penalty killers]. If they can score on 5-on-3, then we should be able to."
Attard helped Toledo to a 2-0 lead in the first period with two power play goals, thanks partly to the courtesy of Dayton's Trevor Frischmon.
Frischmon was in the penalty box when Attard ripped a shot past Bombers goalie Adam Berkhoel into the upper left corner of the net with 8:31 to play. Jason Maleyko and Mitch Maunu were credited with the assists.
Frischmon, playing his first game with Dayton, was in the doghouse again for hooking, this time with teammate Ryan Reid for slashing, when Attard knocked in his second goal at the 2:29 mark, from Nick Parillo and Maunu, for a 2-0 advantage.
Berkhoel came into the game as the ECHL's top-ranked goaltender, giving up 2.06 goals a contest, but the Storm peppered him with 14 shots on goal in the first period.
The first-period goals were a welcome sign for Toledo, which ranks next to last in team power plays this season.
"The power play has been our Achille's heel for a long time and we had four power play goals tonight," Vitucci said.
"We had four last night as well so that's starting to come around. It's giving us the ability to score goals and put some points up on the board."
Gerry Burke increased Toledo's lead to 3-0 with 6:41 left in the second period. Dayton got back into the game with power play goals by Brent Walton and Paul Kelly, trimming Toledo's lead to one early in the third period.
But the Storm defense clamped down and Ken Mag-
owan scored on an empty-net goal with less than a minute to play to assure the Toledo
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