The New Haven Nighthawks defeated the Baltimore Skipjacks, 3-2, at the Baltimore Arena last night, and two disallowed goals were the center of controversy after the game.
Referee Dave Jackson disallowed a goal by Tyler Larter in the first period and another by Tim Taylor with 11 seconds remaining in the American Hockey League contest before 2,463. Jackson disallowed three goals in two nights by Baltimore. He ruled a goal by Alfie Turcotte in Hershey, Pa., on Saturday night did not count.
"Our goal judge, in Jackson's judgment, isn't good enough for him," said an angry Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "He wants to do everything himself. He said Tyler Larter kicked in the first goal and said the second one didn't cross the goal line when it was obvious to everyone that the puck was two or three inches over the goal line."
The second disallowed goal, by Taylor, would have tied the game and probably forced overtime. When Jackson made his ruling, the fans behind the New Haven goal littered the ice with garbage directed at the referee.
"I kicked at the goalie's glove, but I didn't hit the puck," said Larter of the first-period effort. "The puck went to the back of the net, and it should have been a goal."
Turcotte said: "I put the puck right between [Robb] Stauber's pads. At first, he [Jackson] said he blew the whistle and then he changed his tune and said the puck was kicked in. That was a terrible way to lose."
Jackson said: "I stand by both my rulings. Neither play, in my judgment, was a goal."
Of the final effort in the waning seconds, Taylor said: "[Steve] Seftel got the puck and threw it out to the point. A shot came from the point, and the goalie stopped it, but he didn't control the rebound. The puck was lying there, and I kept hacking and poking at it, and finally it went over the line. But the referee ruled no goal, even though the goal judge turned the light on."
Despite the loss, the Skipjacks held onto a second-place tie in the Southern Division with the Binghamton Rangers, who lost to first-place Rochester Americans, 8-3.
"We gave it good effort," said Laird. "We got behind early, but we had plenty of chances to get back into it, but New Haven did a good job of protecting the lead. Stauber played well in the goal [32 saves]. We gave it a gallant effort, but everything was too much to overcome."
The injury-riddled Skipjacks suffered another blow last night when right wing Jeff Greenlaw took a puck in the ankle in the third period and had to be helped to the locker room.
Moments after Larter's goal in the first period was disallowed, Ross Wilson, in the slot, converted a pass from Jim Pavese during a power play to give New Haven a 1-0 lead.
Seftel tied the score for Baltimore, scoring from close range on a pass from Rob Murray at 12:56. Sixteen seconds later, New Haven went back into the lead on Darryl Williams' goal from the right circle that went through goalie Jim Hrivnak's pads.
New Haven raised its lead to 3-1 on Micah Aivazoff's goal from the left circle 53 seconds into the second period.
Baltimore cut the lead to 3-2 on Larter's power-play goal at 17:18 of the second period. Larter knocked in the rebound of a shot by Turcotte.
NOTES: Last night was LW Bob Joyce's last game of his two-week rehabilitation assignment with the Skipjacks, and he will be recalled to the Washington Capitals today. . . . Baltimore played without D Kent Paynter (ankle), LW Thomas Sjogren (knee), D Chris Felix (broken ankle), LW Steve Maltais (thigh bruise), D Bobby Babcock (ankle) and RW John Purves (leg). . . . General manager David Poile and head coach Terry Murray were among the Washington hierarchy on hand last night. . . . Among the scouts in attendance were Gord Lane of the New York Islanders and Kevin McCarthy of the Philadelphia Flyers.