The Baltimore Skipjacks broke a two-game losing streak and moved into first place in the American Hockey League's Southern Division by defeating the Moncton Hawks, 2-1, before 3,544 at the Baltimore Arena last night.
The victory at the Baltimore Arena put the Skipjacks one point ahead of the Adirondack Red Wings, who lost to the Binghamton Rangers, 5-4
Joel Quenneville and John Purves scored for the Skipjacks, who played a tight defensive game, allowing the Hawks only 19 shots. Friday night, the Skipjacks blew a 5-2 first-period lead and lost to the Rochester Americans, 6-5. "We had a team meeting today (yesterday) and discussed what we did wrong Friday," Purves said. "We looked at the tape of the game and tried to pinpoint what we did wrong. We decided that we couldn't give up the puck in the neutral zone and that we had to play a tighter defensive game, among other things. Everything seemed to work.
"I'm feeling more comfortable now, and I think that's why the goals are starting to come. I'm moving my feet more, skating better."
Olaf Kolzig was outstanding in goal for Baltimore, making 18 saves and evening his record at 7-7. Sergei Kharin ruined Kolzig's shutout bid with a goal at 7 minutes, 17 seconds of the third period. Kolzig made the save, but carried the puck over the goal line when he fell on his back.
Olaf Kolzig was outstanding in goal for Baltimore, making 18 saves and evening his record at 7-7. Sergei Kharin ruined Kolzig's shutout bid with a goal at 7 minutes, 17 seconds of the third period. Kolzig made the save but carried the puck over the goal line when he fell on his back.
"I thought I was going to get my first shutout," Kolzig said. "I felt good and was making some solid saves. My defense did a super job and kept Moncton from getting any rebounds. The only goal came on a shot I didn't see until the last second. I still thoughtv that I had saved it, but the goal judge said the puck just went over the line."
Skipjacks coach Rob Laird said: "Kolzig played very well. He looked a lot more relaxed and confident. There is no doubt that he has the talent to bae a very good goalie. His problem has been that he gets too uptight and dosen't relax.
"Having confidence is imperative for a goaltender, and Kolzig looked like he had that tonight. He's a level-headed guy and he can achieve big things.
"Our goal was to plaly our men tight for 60 minutes, not let up. We didn't want to let happen tonight whaat happened Friday. We have to be harder on ourselves. We're going to play good defaensivae hockey, but we;re not going to abandon our offensivae style, either. We are a very good offensivae team and we don't want to take anything away from that. We haavae to get a combination of both. We also have to have more respect for the other team's attack."
The Skipjacks lead the season series with the Hawks, 2-0-1.
Moncton coach Dave Farrish pulled goalie Tom Draper with 1:26 remaining to get an extra attacker on the ice, but the visitors could not score. The Skipjacks twice hit the goal post with shots at the empty net.
Baltimore scored the only goal of the first period. Defenseman Quenneville fired a slap shot from the left circle that found its way through Draper's pads at 10:23.
Purves' goal at 8:01 of the second period gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead. Tim Taylor took a shot that Draper saved, and the rebound squirted into the crease. Purves poked the puck into the back of the cage for his 11th goal of the season.
NOTES: Moncton is coached by former Skipjacks defenseman Dave Farrish, and is the top farm club of the Winnipeg Jets. . . . Defenseman Mark Ferner (leg), defenseman Kent Paynter (ankle), center Victor Gervais (ankle) and center Tyler Larter (ankle) missed the game for Baltimore. . . . Left wings Guy Larose and Craig Duncanson and goalies Stephane Beauregard and Rick Tabaracci are on recall with Winnipeg. . . . Right wing Sergei Kharin of the Hawks and left wing Dimitri Khristich of the Skipjacks played against each other in the Soviet Union league.