Tim Tookey's goal at 13 minutes, 22 seconds of the third period broke a tie and gave the Hershey Bears a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Skipjacks in an American Hockey League game before 3,156 at the Baltimore Arena last night.
Players on both teams appeared as if their minds were on other things, as they muddled through an error-filled contest that drew boos from the fans.
The loss was the second in a row and third in the past four games for the Skipjacks, who lead the season series, 4-2. The defeat dropped Baltimore out of first place in the Southern Division, as the Adirondack Red Wings, who beat the Cape Breton Oilers, 6-4, moved one point in front of the Jacks.
Both teams lost their starting goaltenders to injury. Hershey's Marc D'Amour had to leave the game at 3:44 of the second period with an injured shoulder. He was replaced by Bruce Hoffort, who made 24 saves and got the victory. The Skipjacks lost Olaf Kolzig at 13:15 of the third period when he was hit in the face by a shot off the stick of Kerry Huffman. Shawn Simpson took over for Kolzig.
Seven seconds after Kolzig left the game, Tookey scored on the rebound of a shot by Huffman to boost Hershey into a 3-2 lead.
"We knew that if we won the faceoff, we were going to get the puck back to the point," said Tookey, who has scored all three of his goals against Baltimore this season. "We wanted to get someone out in front of the net, and that turned out to be me. Huffman took the shot, and the rebound came right back to me. I just flipped the puck past the goalie.
"Huffman saw me in front and tried to keep the shot down, so I had a chance to deflect the puck. That's a play that we try and use once in a while. It didn't matter who was in the net. There wasn't much he could do about it."
"It was a faceoff goal," Bears coach Mike Eaves said. "Everybody did his job. We got the puck on the net, and that's what we wanted to do. The rebound came to Tookey, and he has good hands. He put it in."
With 1:14 remaining, the Skipjacks got a power play, and coach Rob Laird pulled Simpson to get a two-man advantage. Baltimore got only one shot on goal, however.
"I really don't know what it is," said the Skipjacks' John Purves, whose goal in the second period tied the score at 2. "We just can't seem to score. We had a lot of chances. We weren't scoring when we were trying to aim the puck, so now we are just trying to put the puck on the net, but it still won't go in."
"We had lots of chances, good chances, but couldn't score," said Laird. "Hershey got excellent goaltending and that frustrated us. We had plenty of offense, outshooting Hershey, 40-28.
"We gave up three bad goals. On the first one, our guy falls down and gives them an open shot. On the second, we turn over the puck at center ice and give them a breakaway. On the third, we mess up a faceoff in our end and it costs us the game."
Eaves talked about Hershey's position -- next to last -- in the Southern Division. "We aren't that far out of the playoff picture," he said. "What we have to do is string some wins together. We're at the point in the season where we either stay with the pack or we slip out of contention. We don't want that to happen."
NOTES: The Washington Capitals recalled C Rob Murray from the Skipjacks yesterday. Murray's two-week reconditioning assignment ran out Thursday. To replace Murray, the Skipjacks recalled C Harry Mews from the Hampton Roads Admirals of the East Coast Hockey League. Mews has 9 goals and 18 assists in 22 games with Hampton Roads. . . . The Skipjacks played without D Kent Paynter (ankle), C Tyler Larter (ankle), D Jim Mathieson (shoulder), RW Jeff Greenlaw (flu) and D Chris Felix, who is on emergency recall with the Capitals. . . . The Herr's Cup, emblematic of supremacy between Baltimore and Hershey in the season series, was presented to the Skipjacks before the game. Baltimore won last season's 6-6-2 series with a 44-41 edge in goals. . . . The Philadelphia Flyers sent D Kerry Huffman to Hershey before the game. D Dave Fenyves is on recall with the Flyers.
Hershey 1 1 1 -- 3
Baltimore 1 1 0 -- 2
First period--1. Baltimore, Turcotte 11 (Sjogren, Savage), 7:45; 2. Hershey, Armstrong 13 (Fisher), 12:09. Penalties--Armstrong, Her (slashing), 9:17; Mendel, Bal (hooking), 16:18.
Second period--3. Hershey, Dobbin 20 (Beadle), 7:52; 4. Baltimore, Purves 12 ( Maltais, Taylor), 14:08. Penalties--Armstrong, Her (high-sticking), 8:53.
Third period--5. Hershey, Tookey 9 (Huffman, Barrie), 13:22. Penalties--Freer, Her ( tripping), 18:46.
Shots on goal: Hershey 10-8-10-28. Baltimore 12-17-11-40. Power-play opportunities: Hershey 0 of 1. Baltimore 0 of 3. Goalies: Hershey, D'Amour 3-1-1 (15 shots, 14 saves), Hoffort, 3-8-0, in at 3:44 of second (25-24). Baltimore, Kolzig 7-8-0 (25-23), Simpson, in at 13:15 of third, 5-3-0 (3-2). A--3,156. Referee: Paul Devorski. Linesmen: Gary Madsen, Mike Smith.