It's been exactly three weeks since the Skipjacks touched their home ice at the Baltimore Arena and despite a bad road showing, the team isn't in awful shape in the standings.
The Jacks left on Nov. 2 in first place by one point and they return from a 3-6-1 trip -- including last night's 6-3 win in Binghamton -- tied for second place with Adirondack, one point behind Utica.
Coach Robbie Laird continually has said the team's play on the road wasn't nearly as bad as its record and the last two nights have been positive proof that the team is hardly struggling.
The Jacks (11-9-1) played well in a 6-5 loss in Hershey on Wednesday, and dominated the much larger Rangers on their home ice last night, getting goals from Tyler Larter, Kevin Lovsin, Steve Maltais, Steve Seftel and a pair from Reggie Savage.
After the Maritime trip, Laird decided to shake up the offensive lines, pairing Larter with Savage and Alfie Turcotte, and Todd Hlushko with Jeff Greenlaw and Seftel. The results, even in the Hershey loss, were evident immediately.
"I wasn't even sure I liked it when I put it together to tell you the truth," Laird said. "But Larter, especially, has moved in and played well and we're creating good opportunities."
Wednesday's loss to the Bears can be solely attributed to some horrific defense midway through the game. The Jacks allowed 47 shots in the game -- 21 in the second period.
Goalie Olaf Kolzig, who with last night's win is 3-3, was lifted after the Bears assaulted him with four goals in the first 27 minutes.
"Everyone knew it wasn't Olie's fault," Laird said. "I just pulled him to shake things up."
The Jacks again played short a defenseman the past two games, with Jim Mathieson, Mark Ferner, Jiri Vykoukal, Joel Quenneville and Lovsin suiting up, and Kent Paynter, Rob Mendel and Bob Babcock out with injuries. Forward Vic Gervais also is out with a leg injury.
"Binghamton has a lot of big, physical players and they were trying to get our defensemen off the ice," Laird said.
The Jacks are expecting the season's biggest crowd this evening, with more than 6,000 seats already sold.