HERSHEY, Pa. -- Alfie Turcotte's goal with 6 minutes, 21 seconds remaining gave the Baltimore Skipjacks a 6-5 American Hockey League victory over the Hershey Bears last night before 7,675, the largest crowd of the season at Hersheypark Arena.
Turcotte's goal, on a shot from between the hash marks, broke a 5-5 tie, and the hard-checking Skipjacks held on the rest of the way.
"I had three Hershey guys on me down deep and skated out in front with the puck," said Turcotte, describing this game-winning goal. "I passed the puck to Reggie [Savage] at the bottom of the right circle, and he drew a defenseman to him, took a step and passed me the puck. I put a move on one guy and put the puck in the net.
"That was a great win. It was something we needed after losing to Newmarket the other night [9-1 Thursday]."
Savage contributed three goals and an assist, and Steve Seftel and Jeff Greenlaw also scored for Baltimore, which leads the season series with the Bears, 6-4-0.
"I had great motivation," said Savage, who has nine goals against Hershey. "Everyone on the team wanted this win desperately. I love to play in this rink."
"Savage is very effective around the goal," said Hershey coach Mike Eaves. "We tried to bang him and keep him away, but he still got his points."
The teams entered the third period tied at 4. Savage gave Baltimore a 5-4 lead with a backhand from the slot at 1:59, but Bill Armstrong, scoring his second goal of the game, tied the score with a shot through goalie Jim Hrivnak's pads at 3:01.
"I think that was the most exciting game of the season," Skipjacks coach Rob Laird said. "You could feel the excitement on the ice and in the stands. We kept coming back. We were down by two, came back to tie, Hershey took the lead again and we came back to lead. Everyone was committed the entire game. Reggie had a great game, and Turcotte scored the big goal for us. Everyone played responsible hockey. Our forwards did a great job of forechecking and backchecking."
The teams emerged from the first period tied at 2. Baltimore dominated the early action, but Hershey plodded to a 2-0 lead before the Skipjacks battled back.
Armstrong, scoring on a diving shot that deflected a pass from Brian Dobbin past Hrivnak at 11:56, gave Hershey a 1-0 lead. Mark Freer boosted it to 2-0 at 17:07, scoring short-handed. Freer went in on a breakaway and Hrivnak made the save, but Ken Lovsin, trailing the play, kicked the puck into the net.
Savage cut the difference to 2-1 14 seconds later, scoring a power-play goal on the rebound of a shot by Steve Maltais.
Savage tied the score at 18:27 with his 26th goal. He missed a goal seconds earlier when his shot on a breakaway caromed off the crossbar. However, Mark Ferner picked up the loose puck, passed it to Bob Joyce in the left circle and Joyce fed Savage in the slot. Savage slammed the puck past goalie Dominic Roussel.
The teams traded goals in the second period and left the ice with the score tied at 4.
Pat Murray, scoring during a power play at 3:44 of the third period, gave Hershey a 3-2 advantage.
Baltimore, with a two-man advantage for 1:12, had an apparent goal by Turcotte disallowed by referee Dave Jackson, who ruled that the whistle had blown before the puck went into the cage.
The Skipjacks came back with a pair of goals in 15 seconds. Steve Seftel knocked in a rebound during a power play, Jeff Greenlaw scored during a scramble in the crease and Baltimore led, 4-3, at 11:03.
Hershey tied the score at 13:13 on Murray's second goal of the period.
NOTES: LW Pat Murray and C Craig Fisher had a busy day yesterday. Both played with the Philadelphia Flyers in the morning in a 2-0 loss to the Hartford Whalers at the Spectrum, then played with Hershey last night. D Kerry Huffman of the Bears also was with the Flyers, but did not play. He returned to the Bears with Fisher and Murray. . . . Hershey scratched LW Reid Simpson, C Len Barrie and LW Tony Horacek, and Baltimore scratched D Kent Paynter (ankle), LW Thomas Sjogren (knee), D Bobby Babcock (ankle), John Purves (leg), C Victor Gervais and LW Todd Hlushko.