Steve Seftel's goal at 1 minute, 23 seconds of overtime gave the Baltimore Skipjacks a 4-3 American Hockey League victory over the Hershey Bears at the Baltimore Arena last night.
Seftel picked up the puck from Mark Ferner on the left boards, circled the net and ripped the puck past Bears goalie Dominic Roussel.
"Ferner dumped the puck into the zone from center ice, and the goalie didn't make a move to get it," Seftel said. "The puck was sort of bouncing along and no one was on me, so I jumped on it, settled it down and saw that I had a clear lane in back of the goal. I went around the goal, saw that no one had picked me up and scored on a wraparound shot between the goalie's legs."
"You call Seftel's goal a grinder's goal," Skipjacks coach Rob Laird said. "He is always working and always grinding. It was a typical Seftel goal. He saw his chance and produced.
"We played without some pretty good forwards -- Steve Maltais [thigh injury], Reggie Savage [on recall with the Washington Capitals], Jeff Greenlaw [ankle injury] and Bobby Joyce [waiting to pass through waivers] -- but the other guys did the job. We got scoring from unexpected sources like Jim Mathieson and Rob Murray. Everyone did a great job of forechecking, and we created a lot of offensive chances [41 shots]."
Defenseman Mathieson scored the first two goals of his professional career, as the Skipjacks built a 3-2 lead before Hershey rallied to tie the score on a last-minute goal by Chris Jensen that forced the overtime.
Mathieson, a rookie, was playing in his 39th game this season, and his first goal couldn't have come at a better time.
He scored in the first period off a pass from Tyler Larter and tied the score at 1. Mathieson's second goal of the game came at 6:53 of the second period on a shot from the left circle and pushed Baltimore into a 2-1 lead.
Murray, also scoring his first goal of the season, gave the Skipjacks a 3-1 margin. Murray's goal came in his 22d game with Baltimore. He started the season with the Capitals.
"I was starting to get frustrated and down on myself," Murray said. "I was upset that I wasn't scoring. That goal helps. It takes a big weight off me."
The victory enabled the Skipjacks, in second place in the Southern Division, to gain two points on the first-place Rochester Americans, who were idle. Baltimore is in sole possession of second because the Binghamton Rangers lost to the Newmarket Saints, 5-3.