Hughes helps firm up Jacks picture

October 02, 1991|By Nestor Aparicio | Nestor Aparicio,Evening Sun Staff

Skipjacks coach Robbie Laird got what he called the final piece of the puzzle after last night's game in Hershey.

The Washington Capitals reassigned left wing Brent Hughes to the Jacks, filling out the roster for Friday's opener at the Arena against the same Bears. The Caps also sent defenseman John Slaney back to junior hockey in Cornwall, Ont.

Hughes, who scored three goals in four preseason games with the Caps, will report to the Jacks today.

"He had a terrific camp and he'll be a welcome addition to our team," said Laird, who also liked what he saw from many of his players in last night's 6-5 overtime win in the final preseason game against the Bears.

"Our power play really came together nicely and I didn't even start a couple of our key players," said Laird, whose team jumped out to a 4-1 lead on three extra-man scores.

John Purves, who is expected to work on the main scoring line with Simon Wheeldon and Craig Duncanson, and Bobby Reynolds both had the night off so Laird "could test the ability of some other guys who may not get a chance once the season starts."

Laird put Todd Hlushko on the scoring line last night and it resulted in a goal for him and a pair for the crafty Wheeldon.

One player who will certainly log plenty of time for the Jacks this year is goalie Olaf Kolzig, who had 28 saves last night and is the odds-on favorite to start the opener.

"We have signed Shawn Simpson to a contract and we have Byron Dafoe with us as well," Laird said. "I wanted to start Dafoe last night to give him a chance, but he has the flu. I think we're fairly deep at that position."

In addition to the trio of goalies, the Jacks now have 15 forwards and eight defensemen skating with the team, and Laird said that probably won't change before Friday. Two forwards on that list, Tim Taylor (knee) and Vic Gervais (shoulder), and one defenseman, Bobby Babcock (wrist), are out with injuries.

"Everyone is playing so well that they are making the decisions tough on us," Laird said. "They each add something -- scoring, toughness, leadership, energy -- to our game. We can't afford to lose any of them."

The hero in last night's win was second-year defenseman Ken Lovsin, who beat Bears goalie Yannick Degrace 21 seconds into overtime with a slap shot from the left point. Bears forward Len Barrie had tied the game at 5 on a goal with 1:05 remaining in regulation.

Veteran defenseman Mark Ferner and rookie Trevor Halverson also scored for the Jacks.

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