Steve Maltais scored three goals and assisted on another, powering the Baltimore Skipjacks to a 6-4 American Hockey League victory over the Capital District Islanders before 5,354 at the Baltimore Arena last night.
Maltais, who raised his goal total to 26, and line mates Tim Bergland and Tim Taylor accounted for 11 points (five goals and six assists) against the Islanders.
"We came out hard and got a quick lead, but then we let Capital District get back in the game," Maltais said. "We kept coming back, and eventually everything turned out all right. Alfie [Turcotte] scored a big goal for us in the third period, and that got us rolling again. We dominated the third period."
Maltais, who had been in a scoring slump, has scored at least one point in six of his past seven games. "Scoring always seems to come in streaks," he said. "If you could minimize the slumps, you wouldn't have as many problems. But if I knew the answer to that, I could be a great coach."
Turcotte's backhand from between the hash marks early in the third period broke a 3-3 tie and propelled the Skipjacks to victory. Turcotte took a pass from Reggie Savage, who was behind the goal, and lofted a shot over goalie Alain Harvey's left shoulder.
Tim Bergland's goal, on a feed from Maltais, at 12 minutes, 19 seconds gave the Skipjacks a 5-3 lead. Greg Parks' goal with 47 seconds left cut the lead to 5-4, but Taylor scored an empty-net goal with seven seconds remaining for the final margin.
"We were disappointed after blowing a 2-0 lead Tuesday night and losing to Springfield, and we didn't want that to happen again," said Bergland. "We got the lead tonight, but the Islanders came back. We came out for the third period and wanted to win very badly, especially in front of a big crowd. We got our game in focus and controlled the game. Alfie scored the big goal, getting us the lead, and Steve [Maltais] had a couple of nice goals."
The victory was the seventh in the past nine games for Baltimore, which is in second place in the Southern Division. The Skipjacks picked up a point on the first-place Rochester Americans, who played a 4-4 tie with the Newmarket Saints.
Bergland had a goal and three assists, and Taylor had two assists.
"It was a great performance," said Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "The Taylor, Maltais and Bergland line was superb. They were the main cog in our offense, and Joel Quenneville played a great game on defense. We had a lapse at the start of the second period and allowed two goals on two shots, but we took command in the third period. If we can stay focused for 60 minutes a game, we can play with anyone in this league."
Islanders coach Butch Goring said. "We have to generate more offense. That's the second time Baltimore has taken a game away from us in the third period. We were just outplayed in the third period."
After the game, the Skipjacks sent center Victor Gervais to the Hampton Roads Admirals of the East Coast Hockey League.
NOTES: The starting goalies last night, Harvey and Jim Hrivnak, played on the same Pee Wee hockey team in Montreal. . . . Baltimore played without D Kent Paynter (ankle), RW Jeff Greenlaw (shoulder) and RW John Purves (leg). . . . Three former Skipjacks -- Harvey, D Ryan Kummu and D Dave Richter -- were recent additions to the Islanders. . . . Capitals coach Terry Murray attended the game. . . . Don Maloney, recently retired New York Islanders left wing, was scouting for the NHL club. . . . Other scouts on hand were Kevin McCarthy of the Philadelphia Flyers and Gord Lane of the Islanders.
Opponent: Maine Mariners
Site: Portland Civic Center, 7:35 p.m.
Radio: WLIF (1300 AM)
Outlook: The teams are 2-2 this season. The Mariners have lost RW John Byce and C Andy Brickley to the parent Boston Bruins, getting LW John Carter in return. The Skipjacks hope to have D Kent Paynter (ankle) and RW John Pruves (leg) back. D Rob Mendel has been recalled from Hampton Roads (ECHL).