PORTLAND, Maine -- Baltimore Skipjacks goalie Jim Hrivnak had come close to his first shutout of the season Jan. 12 against the Maine Mariners, but lost it in the last eight minutes.
A week later, Hrivnak came close again.
The same player -- Maine's Ron Hoover -- did the spoiling. He scored with 7 minutes, 31 seconds left in the earlier game, and last night got his shutout-breaking goal with 5:11 remaining.
By then, however, the Skipjacks had the game under control, and they left the Cumberland County Civic Center with a 4-1 victory.
They lead the season series with Maine, 3-2. The final meeting is Tuesday night in Baltimore.
"We have a lot of confidence in him," Skipjacks coach Rob Laird said of Hrivnak, who is 9-5-1. "It would have been nice for Jim, but he doesn't seem to be too concerned about it. We got the win, and that's the most important thing."
The Skipjacks had a 3-0 lead after two periods, two of the goals coming 21 seconds apart early in the second period.
Tim Taylor and Thomas Sjogren got the goals that gave the Skipjacks a comfortable margin. Taylor scored at 5:19 to extend the lead to 2-0.
Taylor beat Shayne Stevenson on a faceoff in the Mariners' zone and got the puck back to the point to defenseman Jiri Vykoukal, whose shot on net was stopped by goalie Mike Parson. Taylor worked hard for position in front and put in a rebound.
Sjogren's goal was unassisted. He skated into the Mariners' end and fired a shot from the circle that breezed past Parson on the far side. Parson was not screened on the shot and never made a move to stop it.
"We've been playing well on the road lately," said Laird, whose team has won three straight away from home and moved within four points of the first-place Rochester Americans in the American Hockey League's Southern Division.