Rangers, Jacks tune up Binghamton wins, 5-2 Quarterfinals begin Friday in New York

April 01, 1991|By Paul Stuart | Paul Stuart,Special to The Sun

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The game amounted to a pre-playoff scrimmage at best. That's what it resembled as well -- a practice. After getting blown out in Baltimore nine days ago, the Binghamton Rangers had just a bit more emotion in a meaningless game and defeated the Baltimore Skipjacks, 5-2, in the American Hockey League regular-season finale for both teams.

The Rangers finished second in the Southern Division of the AHL with a 44-30-6 record. The third-place Skipjacks finished at 39-34-7.

Come this weekend, intensity will be a different story, as the two will begin their best-of-seven quarterfinal series Friday and Saturday in Binghamton. The two National Hockey League parent clubs -- the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals -- also will be meeting in the Patrick Division semifinals this week.

"I certainly think they showed more [emotion] than we did," Skipjacks coach Rob Laird said. "They played like they wanted it more. To be honest, the game meant very little. It would have been nice to win, but we're not going to sulk over this one."

Neither will the Rangers celebrate. "You can't really get much out of a game like this," Binghamton coach John Paddock said. "I don't think anyone really stood out. I think you'll see Baltimore coming at us 10 times as hard on Friday night."

Both coaches took the opportunity to watch the game from the press box. Binghamton assistants Don Nachbaur and Al Hill worked behind the bench for the Rangers. Baltimore assistant Barry Trotz coached the Skipjacks.

After a mostly uneventful first period, the Rangers scored four unanswered goals in the second, which decided the outcome.

The Rangers went ahead 1-0 2:49 into the period, when Len Hachborn beat Jim Hrivnak after Binghamton controlled the puck in the Skipjacks' zone for nearly a minute.

Ross Fitzpatrick added two goals to make it 3-0 before teammate Daniel Lacroix scored short-handed with 2:09 left in the period.

NOTES: D Wade Bartley, the Capitals' third pick and 41st overall in the 1988 entry draft, joined Baltimore on Saturday from the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League.

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