Down 3-0, Jacks seek a power surge

April 13, 1991|By James H. Jackson

Even though only two teams in American Hockey League history have rebounded from an 0-3 deficit to win a playoff series, Binghamton Rangers goalie Mark Laforest says he's not taking the Baltimore Skipjacks lightly.

"I'll never be overconfident, even in this situation," said Laforest, whose team has a 3-0 lead over the Baltimore Skipjacks in its best-of-seven Calder Cup Southern Division semifinal series. Game 4 is tonight at the Baltimore Arena (7:35).

In 1989, the Adirondack Red Wings came back to beat the Hershey Bears in the semifinals, and in 1960, the Rochester Americans rallied to beat the Cleveland Barons in the semifinals.

"I was on that Hershey team that lost to Adirondack and I know that no lead is safe," Laforest said.

Binghamton coach John Paddock was the coach of the Hershey that year, and that's why he refuses to be optimistic.

Laforest has been magnificent. He has won three games, cleared the puck well and made 104 saves, 13 of which came in the third period Thursday night when the Skipjacks outshot the Rangers, 14-2.

"We have to beat Laforest," said Skipjacks center Tim Taylor. "We've taken it to him the whole series, but he always seems to make the big saves."

A little more punch in the Baltimore power play would also help. The Skipjacks, who were third in the AHL during the regular season in power-play scoring (23 percent), are 2-for-19 in this series on the power play and have not scored in their past 12 opportunities.

Thursday, the Skipjacks had a five-minute power play, which included a 48-second, two-man advantage, and managed only three shots on goal.

"We need to get our power play working," Skipjacks coach Rob Laird said. "We lost Paynter [stick in the eye] and Mark Ferner [10-minute misconduct penalty], and that hurt our power play."

Should Baltimore win tonight, the series will move back to the Broome County Veterans Arena in Binghamton, N.Y., Wednesday for Game 5.

The Washington Capitals late yesterday returned right wing Jeff Greenlaw to the Skipjacks. Greenlaw had had 17 goals and 17 assists in 50 regular-season games with Baltimore.

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