TOLEDO, Ohio — At least the Johnstown Chiefs didn’t blow a lead Saturday night against the Toledo Storm.
In fact, they never had one.
Johnstown dug itself a three-goal hole, and pulled close, but couldn’t overcome Toledo, falling 6-2 to the Storm.
Behind 3-0 in the first period, the Chiefs put two straight on the board, getting within one before Toledo’s Jeff Attard scored during the second period to reestablish a two-goal cushion.
“We need to get out of that second period 3-2 or tied. We can’t give up the fourth goal,” Chiefs coach Frank Anzalone said. “That sent (Toledo) to the locker room saying ‘We’re OK.’ But the scene changed after the fourth goal. And give Toledo credit, they came out real hard and kept us at bay and we didn’t get a sniff in the third period.”
The Storm added two more in the third, including Attard’s second, and an empty-netter by Scooter Smith.
Toledo peppered Chiefs goaltender Jon Boutin with 41 shots, while Johnstown was only able to muster 21 chances against former Chief David Cann, playing in his first game this season.
Zbynek Hrdel and John Toffey had goals for the Chiefs.
In addition to Attard’s two goals, the Storm got a pair from team-leading scorer Smith, and one each by P.J. Martin and Todd Jackson.
Three of Toledo’s six goals came on the power play, as the Storm earned 13 chances on the man advantage. The Chiefs were two of nine with the extra man.
“It was discombobulated hockey, filled with undisciplined play and penalties on both teams,” Anzalone said.
The Chiefs drop to 0-3-2 with the defeat, and have a week to regroup before traveling to Trenton on Friday night.
It’s a week that Anzalone hopes the Chiefs will use to get back on track.
“We were focused and on an even keel, but I think that we have gotten off that,” Anzalone said. “We just need to refocus and do what we need to do. ... We didn’t play up to the level that we can play at (Saturday night). We didn’t do what we needed to do to be successful. We need to look at that during this week and make corrections for the next game.”
The Chiefs were forced to shuffle their lineup before Saturday’s game, accounting for the loss of forward J.B. Bittner and defenseman Jay Rosehill.
Bittner, a Pittsburgh native, was called up to AHL Portland, a team he went to training camp with before joining the Chiefs. Rosehill was recalled by AHL Springfield. The Falcons sent down defenseman Mike Egener.
But it was a short-lived debut for Egener, who suffered an injury during the second period and was unavailable to Johnstown for the rest of the game.