Rangers' futility at Arena gives Skipjacks hope

April 11, 1991|By James H. Jackson

The Binghamton Rangers are winless in Baltimore this season, which may give the Skipjacks hope for climbing out of their 2-0 hole in the Calder Cup playoffs tonight (7:35) at the Baltimore Arena.

On the other hand, form didn't necessarily hold in Game 2, a 2-0 victory Saturday behind a shutout by Mark Laforest, his first of the season and his first in the Calder Cup playoffs since 1988, when he was with the Hershey Bears.

"We're up 2-0, but even if we were up 3-0, I'd still be concerned," Rangers coach John Paddock said of the best-of-seven American Hockey League Southern Division series. "We're going into Baltimore, and we didn't win a game there all season [0-3]."

The Skipjacks outscored Binghamton, 16-5, in their three victories here.

"I envision this as a very tough time," Skipjacks coach Rob Laird said, "and success will come the hard way. We've dug ourselves a hole, and now we have to scrap out of it."

Binghamton practiced in Hershey, Pa., Tuesday and at the Baltimore Arena yesterday.

Binghamton's highly physical game ran the Skipjacks off the puck and negated their team speed. The Rangers led the AHL in penalty minutes, and the Skipjacks ranked last, but the teams are practically even in that category in this series: Binghamton has 28 minutes, four more than Baltimore.

Another reason for the Rangers' success has been the play of Laforest. The Skipjacks have outshot Binghamton, 80-71, but Laforest has made 76 saves.

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