Alfie Turcotte scored two goals and Steve Seftel had three assists last night to lead the Baltimore Skipjacks to a 6-3 American Hockey League victory over the New Haven Nighthawks at the Baltimore Arena.
The victory, Baltimore's second in a row and third in its past four games, moved the Skipjacks into a first-place tie with the idle Rochester Americans in the Southern Division.
Turcotte scored the first and last goals for the Skipjacks; Seftel assisted on both and on a short-handed goal by Tim Taylor that broke a 2-2 tie in the second period put the Skipjacks ahead for good.
Ken Lovsin added a goal and an assist for Baltimore and Skipjacks goalie Olaf Kolzig made 35 saves, as he evened his record at 9-9.
"Taylor's short-handed goal was the key," said Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "The game was tied, and that gave us back the momentum."
The Skipjacks had taken a 2-0 lead on goals by Turcotte and Tyler Larter, but New Haven rallied on scores by Rene Chapdelaine and Scott Harlow to tie the score at 6 minutes, 38 seconds of the second period.
"I had poked-checked the puck away from New Haven's Scott Young earlier, and I did it again at center ice," said Seftel. "I pushed the puck ahead to Timmy [Taylor], and he did the rest."
"Steve made the play," said Taylor, whose score came at the 11:20 mark of the second period. "He knocked the puck loose and got it ahead to me. I was all alone and just went in on the goalie [Robb Stauber]. I was going to deke him and go to my backhand, but he committed himself, and I went to my forehand and put the puck past him."
Before two more minutes were gone from the period, the Skipjacks had a 4-2 lead as Lovsin found the net at 13:58.
With 2:34 gone in the final period, Reggie Savage scored during a Skipjacks power play for a 5-2 Baltimore lead.
New Haven's Jim Thompson cut the lead to 5-3. Then Turcotte beat Stauber from the slot at 15:21 to seal the victory.
"New Haven played well," Turcotte said. "They took it to us. But our special teams did the job for us. The short-handed goal by Taylor and the power play goal with Reggie [Savage] were big goals. We worked hard and got a lot of chances."
Laird praised Kolzig and the play of Taylor and Seftel up front.
"Kolzig made some very big stops for us early. He did the job and got the win for us. We got some timely goals and some timely goaltending," Laird said. "I had to switch my lines around because John Purves hurt his leg. The new combinations were the same as started the season for us. They did an excellent job. Taylor is a very good two-way player for us and Seftel and Jeff Greenlaw did a great job of crashing the boards and digging out the puck."
Seftel said he was just doing his job.
"Coach wants Greenlaw and I, who are both big guys, to go the boards and get the puck," Seftel said. "The hitting and banging, that's what we try to do."
Said Taylor: "Over Christmas I looked at my game and decided to go back to a more physical type of game like I played in junior hockey. So far, it has worked out."
Turcotte's goal 1:12 before the end of the first period gave the Skipjacks a 1-0 lead. Turcotte, in the slot, put a rebound of his own shot past Stauber.
The Jacks increased their lead to 2-0 at 1:54 of the second period, as Larter converted off a rebound of a shot by Victor Gervais.
NOTES: Washington Capitals GM David Poile was in attendance, as was Gordie Lane, a scout for the New York Islanders. . . . Jean Guy Legace, a former Baltimore Clippers defenseman who owns a construction company in Birmingham, Ala., also was at the game. . . . D Mark Ferner served a one-game suspension as punishment for his match-game penalty Friday night.
New Haven 0 2 1 -- 3
Baltimore 1 3 2 -- 6
First period--1. Baltimore, Turcotte 14 (Seftel, Greenlaw), 18:48. Penalties--Pavese, N.H. (fighting), 1:57; Greenlaw, Bal (fighting), 1:57; N.H., bench minor, served by Tresl (too many men on ice), 6:20; Hlushko, Bal (holding), 9:06; Holden, N.H. (holding), 11:49.
Second period--2. Baltimore, Larter 13 (Gervais, Lovsin), 1:54; 3. New Haven, Chapdelaine 1 (Rooney), 2:16; 4. New Haven, Harlow 14 (McCosh, Young), 6:38; 5. Baltimore, Taylor 14 (Seftel), sh, 11:20; 6. Baltimore, Lovsin 5 (Hlushko), 13:58. Penalties--Ricard, N.H. (cross-checking), 4:40; Roy, N.H. (cross- checking), 4:40; Larter, Bal (cross-checking), 4:40; Lovsin, Bal (tripping), 5:44; Mendel, Bal (holding), 9:58; Greenlaw, Bal (boarding), 15:36; Young, N.H. (interference), 16:31.
Third period--7. Baltimore, Savage 20 (Taylor, Maltais), pp, 2:34; 8. New Haven, Thompson 4 (Roy, McCosh), pp, 8:46; 9. Baltimore, Turcotte 15 (Seftel), 15:21 . Penalties--Chapdelaine, N.H. (hooking), 1:49; Pavese, N.H. (hooking), 4:38; Lovsin, Bal (hooking), 6:04; Mathieson, Bal (holding), 8:11.
Shots on goal--New Haven 11-17-10-38. Baltimore 12-9-10-31. Power-play opportunities--New Haven 1 of 6. Baltimore 1 of 6. Goalies--New Haven, Stauber 6-7-3 (31 shots, 25 saves). Baltimore, Kolzig 9-9-0 (38-35). A--2,905. Referee--Lance Roberts. Linesmen--Mike Condon, Gary Madsen.