Thomas Sjogren scored three goals and Chris Felix handed out a team-record five assists last night at the Baltimore Arena, helping the Baltimore Skipjacks to a 7-5 American Hockey League victory over the Capital District Islanders.
Steve Maltais scored twice and Alfie Turcotte had four assists, as Baltimore pulled away from the Islanders with three third-period goals before 2,804. Kent Paynter scored the game-winner at 9 minutes, 51 seconds of the final period, and Steve Seftel also scored for the Skipjacks.
"It was frustrating at first," said Sjogren. "We created so many scoring chances and couldn't put the puck in the net. [Baltimore outshot the Islanders, 18-3, in the first period and scored only one goal.] We also took a lot of bad penalties. But we just kept working, and the goals began to come.
"Turcotte is a great player who is always in command of the puck. He sees the whole ice and is always looking for the open man. He makes it easy for you to score."
Skipjacks coach Rob Laird praised Sjogren's effort. "He was my 10th forward starting the game. I was just using him on the special teams, and he scores a goal on the power play. Then Tyler Larter got hurt [groin-muscle pull], and I put Sjogren in Larter's spot, and he really came through for us.
"Thomas is a fine hockey player who is always working, trying to better his game. After what he produced tonight, I'm going to have to find a way to get him more ice time."
Felix, who played for the Skipjacks here Friday night and in Pittsburgh with the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, said he wasn't impressed with the record.
"You just try to do what you can to help the club. I just try to put the puck on the net, and the guys who put it in the goal are the important ones. They have to knock it home."
Sjogren and Richard Kromm of the Islanders traded first-period goals, and Seftel, Maltais and Sjogren scored in the second period.
Capital District, trailing, 4-3, entering the third period, rallied on two power-play goals by Wayne McBean in a 17-second span to grab a 5-4 lead. The Skipjacks retaliated almost immediately, as Sjogren completed his hat trick on assists from Felix and Turcotte, also on a power play, to tie the score at 5.
Paynter's shot from the point gave Baltimore a 6-5 lead at 9:51 of the third period, and Maltais' second goal of the night, at 14:12, made the score 7-5.
"I got the puck from Felix and I just let it fly," said Paynter of his goal. "It was a rising shot and went right past the goalie."
Laird said: "We played very well overall. We passed the puck well, created a lot of excellent scoring opportunities, took advantage of our power-play chances and outshot the Islanders most of the game. We actually had to make a comeback in the third period to win, and that's the sign of a good hockey team."