The Baltimore Skipjacks have become a scoring machine.
In their past three home games, the Jacks have scored 26 goals. And, in 11 games, they have scored 59, tops in the American Hockey League.
Before 3,445 at the Baltimore Arena last night, the Skipjacks (8-3-0) reclaimed first place from Adirondack (7-5-1) in the Southern Division by defeating the Red Wings, 9-6.
Rookie Reggie Savage scored two goals and dished out two assists, and Bob Joyce had two goals and an assist. Steve Seftel, Tim Taylor, Jeff Greenlaw, Steve Maltais and Kent Paynter also scored for Baltimore. Jiri Vykoukal had three assists, and Tyler Larter, Taylor and Ken Lovsin had two feeds each.
"Reggie [Savage] is playing very well, doing everything we ask of him," Skipjacks coach Rob Laird said. "He is paying the price down low -- taking a lot of physical punishment -- but it's paying off in goals. He's a tough kid and is getting better each game."
Savage, the No. 1 draft choice of the Washington Capitals three years ago, said: "Things are starting to go well for me. I'm playing with a lot of good players and I'm getting a lot of ice time. We are really rolling now. I'm getting good experience and I'm getting to know the league better.
"The physical part is just part of the game. It's something you have to learn to accept if you want to the play in the NHL. You have to go in their end and keep working, no matter what they [the opposing players] try to do to you."
Tom Bissett scored two goals for Adirondack, both short-handed, and had two assists.
The victory could be expensive for Baltimore, which lost defenseman Chris Felix in the second period and Greenlaw in the third period with injuries.
"Felix has a pulled groin muscle and Greenlaw injured his leg," Laird said. "It's too early to tell about Greenlaw, but we think Felix will be all right. We have to get healthy because we have a big road trip [10 games in 20 days] coming up, and we already have Mark Ferner [hand] and Bobby Babcock [wrist] out."
Felix said: "I just have a slight groin pull, nothing serious. We were ahead, 8-3, when I came out. We figured why take a chance of injuring it more, so I just rested it. I'll be OK."
Laird said hard work is the reason for his team's prolific scoring.
"We're in an offensive groove, and it's a good thing we were tonight because we played poorly on defense," he said. "We gave the puck away too many times, and let the men we were supposed to be guarding get away from us. I don't like giving up two short-handed goals, but it is difficult to be upset after a victory."
In addition to their goals, the Skipjacks hit the goal posts and crossbar with at least a half-dozen other shots. In the second period, Baltimore scored four goals on only five shots on goal.
Joyce and Savage each scored two first-period goals to help the Skipjacks gain a 4-2 lead. Joyce scored the game's first goal at 46 seconds from the right circle, and the fifth goal, converting a pass from Vykoukal in the slot at 17:49. Baltimore led, 4-1, at the time.
Savage got his goals in a 46-second span, beating Red Wings goalie Dave Gagnon from close range during a power play and scoring unassisted when Gagnon stopped his shot but inadvertently raked the rebound into the net.
NOTES: Loyola scored two goals in the last four minutes to break an 8-8 tie and defeat Towson State, 10-8, in a Baltimore Collegiate League preliminary game. . . . The Skipjacks begin a 20-day, 10-game trip tomorrow in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
First period--1. Baltimore, Joyce 2 (Turcotte, Larter), 0:46; 2. Adirondack, Bissett 12 (Luongo), sh, 7:46; 3. Baltimore, Savage 7 (Joyce, Lovsin), pp, 9:24; 4. Baltimore, Savage 8, 10:10; 5. Baltimore, Joyce 3 (Vykoukal, Savage), 17:49; 6. Adirondack, McDougall 4, 19:45. Penalties--Turcotte, Bal (interference), 3:21; Anglehart, Adi (interference), 6:27; Wilkie, Adi (cross-checking), 8:22; Taylor, Bal (cross-checking), 12:54; Racine, Adi (slashing), 15:44.
Second period--7. Baltimore, Seftel 3 (Greenlaw, Taylor), 0:23; 8. Baltimore, Taylor 4 (Larter, Paynter), 5:13; 9. Baltimore, Greenlaw 5 (Taylor, Lovsin), 5:38; 10. Adirondack, Bissett 13 (Conroy, Loungo), sh, 11:20; 11. Baltimore, Maltais 8 (Vykoukal, Mendel), pp, 16:07; 12. Adirondack, Goodall 2 (Racine, Bissett), pp, 19:39. Penalties--Potvin, Adi (cross-checking and fighting), 9:46; Mathieson, Bal (slashing and fighting), 9:46; McDougall, Adi (slashing), 10:16; Shank, Adi (charging), 14:13; Vykoukal, Bal (hooking), 17:57.
Third period--13. Baltimore, Paynter 3 (Vykoukal, Savage), 8:33; 14. Adirondack, Conroy 7 (Merkosky, Bissett), 9:30; 15. Adirondack, McRae 2 (Houda, Goodall), 19:28. Penalties--Gervais, Bal (holding), 1:53; Conroy, Adi (roughing), 16:33.
Shots on goal--Adirondack 6-14-15-35. Baltimore 15-5-5-25. Power-play opportunities--Adirondack 1 of 4. Baltimore 2 of 6. Goalies--Adirondack, Gagnon 2-2-1 (16 shots, 11 saves), King 0-3-0 in at 23 seconds of second (9-5). Baltimore, Simpson 2-0-0 (35-29). A--3,445. Referee--Dave Jackson. Linesmen--Matt Dunne, George Nevole.