The Adirondack Red Wings ended the Baltimore Skipjacks' three-game winning streak and took over first place in the Southern Division of the American Hockey League with a 5-2 victory last night at the Baltimore Arena.
The Red Wings, who entered play tied for first with the Skipjacks, applied the physical pressure early, took a quick lead and held on.
Kevin McClelland scored twice and had an assist for the Red Wings and goalie Mark Reimer made 32 saves, as the Adirondack defense shut down a Baltimore offense that had scored 22 goals in the previous three games.
Alfie Turcotte, off an assist from Reggie Savage, ruined Reimer's shutout bid at 6 minutes, 6 seconds of the third period. Tim Taylor added a goal with 2:09 remaining.
"I don't know if it was a matter of us playing poorly or Adirondack playing very well," Turcotte said. "They [the Red Wings] obviously played very well. They outplayed us, outhit us, out-skated us and outscored us. The bottom line was that we were outworked by a hungry hockey team."
After the game, the Washington Capitals recalled center Turcotte and left wing Steve Maltais.
Skipjacks coach Rob Laird echoed Turcotte's sentiments.
"Our problem is that we get to thinking that we are better than we actually are," Laird said. "We were sloppy even when we scored 10 goals against Utica Friday. Tonight we proved that we aren't that good. Adirondack simply outworked us. Hard work is something that has been the top priority with me since day one and I don't like to be outworked.
"This is very disappointing with first place at stake. The Red Wings were more motivated than we were and I take full responsibility for that. We didn't have ice Saturday, so I gave the team the day off and figured they'd come back rested and ready to go. Obviously they [the players] don't know how to handle a day off. We came out flat and stayed flat. There is no excuse for that."
Kevin McClelland completed a two-on-one break with Stewart Malgunas by sending a wrist shot from the slot past goalie Ollie Kolzig at 9:32 of the first period, giving Adirondack a 1-0 lead. Gord Kruppke boosted the Red Wings into a 2-0 lead at 14:05 when Bill McDougall won a faceoff in the circle to the right of the Baltimore goal. The puck went to Kruppke, whose slap shot zipped past Kolzig.
Adirondack took a 4-0 lead as McClelland scored his second goal of the game on the rebound of his own shot at 5:08 of the
second period and McDougall scored unassisted after Skipjacks defenseman Joel Quenneville surrendered the puck in the slot.
"We played well tonight," said Red Wings coach Barry Melrose, "but I can't really place too much importance on our moving into first place because it is entirely too early in the season to think about that."
NOTES: LW Steve Maltais, Turcotte, Kolzig and Simpson, all of whom were with the Washington Capitals for their 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday, were back in Baltimore uniforms last night. G Alain Harvey, acquired from the Richmond Renegades of the East Coast Hockey League, remains with Baltimore as a back up to Kolzig and Simpson. . . . The Detroit Red Wings recalled C Keith Primeau from Adirondack and assigned G Scott King to the Hampton Roads Admirals of the ECHL. . . . RW Thomas Sjogren (flu), D Jim Mathieson, D Rob Mendel (ribs) and C Victor Gervais (foot) missed last night's game for the Skipjacks. . . . Washington Capitals general manager David Poile and promotional director Lew Strudler were in attendance last night.
First period --1.Adirondack, Kruppke 1 (McDougall), 14:05. Penalties--Shuchuk, Adr (slashing), 6:54; Aubrey, Adr (charging), 10:29.
Second period--3. Adirondack, McClelland 3 ( Shuchuk, Dupuis), 4. Adirondack, McDougall 13, 7:40. Penalties--Kruppke, Adr delay of game), 0:13; Larter, Bal (roughing), 6:50; Shuchuk, Adr (holing), 7:14.
Third period--5. Baltimore, Turcotte 9 (Savage, Larter), 6:06; 6. Adirondack, Bissett 18 (McClalland, Shuchuk), 11:28; 7. Baltimore 11 Taylor (Felix, Larter), 17:51. Penalties--Maltais, Bal (high-sticking), 0:18; McDougall, Adr (roughing), 10:49; Vykoukal, Bal (roughing), 10:49; Dupuis, Adr ( cross-checking), 11:59; Shuchuk, Adr (boarding), 18:09.
Shots on goal: Adirondack 14-11-7-32. Baltimore 8-17-9-34. Power-play opportunities: Adirondack 0 of 2. Baltimore 0 of 6. Goalies: Adirondack, Reimer 4-1-2 (34 shots, 32 saves ). Baltimore, Kolzig 6-5-0 (19-14), Simpson, in at 9:26 of second (13-12). A--2,494. Referee: Steve Walkom. Linesmen: Sam Gowan, Gary Madsen.