The Maine Mariners skated the road-weary Baltimore Skipjacks into the Baltimore Arena ice and went on to win, 5-2, last night.
The Skipjacks, who were playing their fourth American Hockey League game in five nights, stayed with the Mariners, who hadn't played since Saturday night, for the first 19 minutes, 26 seconds and then seemed to collapse.
The loss was the second in a row for the Skipjacks, who stayed in first place in the Southern Division despite the defeat.
The Skipjacks lost their leading scorer, right wing John Purves, at the conclusion of the game when he was called up to the Washington Capitals. He will join the Caps for road games
against Chicago, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Maine, which took Sunday and Monday off while the Skipjacks were riding via bus to Utica, N.Y., and Troy, N.Y., took a 1-0 lead on Jeff Lazaro's goal with 34 seconds remaining in the the first period.
The Mariners, who had lost to the Skipjacks, 2-1, at the Baltimore Arena on Friday, scored four goals in the second period, three by the combination of Ken Hodge and Shane Stevenson.
"We were a little tired," said Skipjacks center Alfie Turcotte, "but we worked hard and played well. We had a lot of scoring chances, but we couldn't put the puck in the net. Maine played very well. They didn't give us any rebounds, and they kept us outside most of the game.
"We were not as strong as we should have been defensivelyAlso, our special teams aren't playing well. We're in a slump. Maine had one power play and scored, and we didn't score on three.
"I wasn't tired and don't think any of our veterans were tired. We're supposed to be ready to play every game," Turcotte said.
Skipjacks coach Rob Laird would not use the schedule as an excuse.
"We might have a been a little tired. The long weekend took a lot out of us, but I'm not going to use that as an alibi. I'm not going to dwell on it. Playing like this is the nature of this game. The reason Maine won was they worked hard, got excellent goaltending and some timely goals. The goal in the last minute of the first period and the one in the last minute of the second period were keys.
"After we fell behind, we started to gamble and we made some mistakes. We had to play catch-up, and this led to more mistakes," Laird said.
Maine's Mike Parson made 33 saves, as the Skipjacks outshot the Mariners, 35-29. Baltimore goalie Jim Hrivnak, who was starting his fifth consecutive game, gave up four goals in 27 minutes and was replaced by Shawn Simpson. Hrivnak left with the score 4-1. Simpson, playing for the first time this season, made 13 saves on 14 shots.
NOTES: NBC announcer Marv Albert was on the radio last night with his son, Ken, who is the play-by-play announcer for the Skipjacks. . . . The Boston Bruins traded defenseman Greg Hawgood yesterday to the Edmonton Oilers for center Vladimir Ruzicka. Hawgood had been with the Mariners. Ruzicka will join the Bruins. . . . Maine right wing John Byce and goalie Norm Foster have been recalled by the Bruins.