The Cape Breton Oilers struck for two third-period goals last night at the Baltimore Arena to defeat the Baltimore Skipjacks, 2-1, in an American Hockey League game.
Saturday night, it was Pokey Reddick who stymied the Skipjacks with 41 saves in an 8-6 defeat, and last night it was Norm Foster who thwarted Baltimore with 32 saves.
The loss was the second in a row for Baltimore, which returned Saturday from a 4-1-1 trip. The Skipjacks were booed loudly by the crowd of 2,664 as they left the ice.
"We played well for the most part, but a couple of breakdowns in the third period killed us," said Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "We're a pretty tired hockey team right now after the long trip and no time off before playing these two games at home.
"Tonight, our game plan was to play a better defensive game than Saturday. We did that, but it didn't happen offensively for us. And the main reason for that was the play of Foster in the goal."
Foster said: "I felt very good, and I saw the puck real well. My defense didn't let up very many rebounds. We have guys who crunch players on our defense."
The Skipjacks entered the third period with a 1-0 lead on Mark Ferner's power-play goal with nine seconds remaining in the first period. Shaun Van Allen got Cape Breton even with an unassisted goal at 1:25. Van Allen picked up a loose puck at center ice, stick-handled through the Baltimore defense and beat Jim Hrivnak with a backhand from close range.
Trevor Sim, also scoring unassisted, got the game-winner at 14:10, when he skated down the right side of the rink on a three-on-one break and beat Hrivnak between his pads and goal post from the circle.
"We played a good game, then made a couple of mistakes, and we paid for them," said the Skipjacks' Kent Paynter. "A team like Cape Breton, with all that offensive talent, is tough to shut out. They are very patient and wait for their chances. It was a tough loss, but it's not the end of the world. We just have to regroup and get rolling again."
Despite the loss, Baltimore remained in third place in the Southern Division.
"When you play defensive hockey, you have to stay committed for the entire 60 minutes," said Laird. "We had a couple of lapses. Van Allen is a very good hockey player who has great moves. The other goal was a perfectly placed shot."
NOTES: Director of promotions Lew Strudler led a Washington Capitals contingent that attended the game. . . . Bob Clarke, general manager of the Minnesota North Stars; Bob Friedlander, a scout for the expansion franchise San Jose Sharks; and Gord Lane, a scout for the New York Islanders, also were on hand. . . Former Skipjacks center Mike Richard, who played this year in Europe, was seated with Jeff Greenlaw and Tim Bergland, both on recall with the Capitals.
Cape Breton 0 0 2 -- 2
Baltimore 1 0 0 -- 1
First period--1. Baltimore, Ferner 13 (Purves, Larter), pp, 19:51. Penalties--LaForge, C.B. (holding), 18:43.
Second period--none. Penalties--Larter, Bal (high-sticking), 10:11; McLennon, C.B. ( holding), 16:24; Middendorf, C.B. (high-sticking), 19:05.
Third period--2. Cape Breton, Van Allen 23, 1:25; 3. Cape Breton, Sim 16, 14:10. Penalties--LaForge, C.B. (holding), 4:42; McLennon, C.B. (roughing), 6:31; Savage, Bal (high-sticking), 6:31; Srsen, C.B. (delay of game), 6:45; Podein, C.B. (delay of game), 18:36; Purves, Bal (delay of game), 18:36.
Shots on goal--Cape Breton 5-10-8-23. Baltimore 15-10-8-33. Power-play opportunities--Cape Breton 0 of 1. Baltimore 1 of 5. Goalies--Cape Breton, Foster 14-13-7 (33 shots, 32 saves). Baltimore, Hrivnak 18-14-5 (23 shots, 21 saves). A--2,664. Referee--Dave Jackson. Linesmen--Gary Madsen, Brett Parson.