Skipjacks defeat Nighthawks, 3-2 Controversial call breaks up tie game

October 21, 1991|By Mike Lurie | Mike Lurie,Special to The Sun

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The weekend wasn't a complete loss for the Baltimore Skipjacks.

After losing successive home games to Maine, Baltimore capitalized on a controversial call and beat the New Haven Nighthawks, 3-2, before 1,838 at the New Haven Coliseum.

With the game tied 1-1, Nighthawks defenseman Jerry Tarrant checked right wing John Purves into the boards behind the New Haven net. Under a new rule -- Rule 45, to be precise -- the referee can assess a five-minute major penalty if bodily harm is deemed intentional.

The major was called at 9 minutes, 24 seconds, and with 1:14 left in the power play Chris Clarke slipped a loose puck past New Haven goaltender George Maneluk.

"I don't think it has to do with whether a guy gets hurt or not. It's just a fact of the intent of doing it," Purves said.

A similar call went against the Skipjacks during Saturday afternoon's 5-4 loss to Maine.

"Sometimes it's hard to accept," said Baltimore coach Rob Laird, "that you could do the same thing last year and it's only two minutes [in the penalty box]."

The Skipjacks took a 3-1 lead at 6:30 in the third period when Craig Duncanson scored from the right faceoff circle on a breakaway. New Haven drew closer with a power-play goal at 8:38, the second of the game for right wing Stan Drulia.

Drulia had opened the scoring when he put a wrist shot by Byron Dafoe, who already was on the ice. The goal marked the only time New Haven has scored first off an opponent.

The Skipjacks tied it with Bobby Reynolds' shot from the slot 33 seconds into the second period.

Dafoe finished with 30 saves. He also was finished with frenetic travel. He was detoured Saturday night through East Rutherford, N.J., to back up goalie Jim Hrivnak during the Capitals' game with the New Jersey Devils.

From there, Dafoe was given a night's lodging in the Greenwich, Conn., home of Skipjacks owner Tom Ebright and driven here by Ebright yesterday morning.

The Jacks' next opponent is Springfield, which comes to the Baltimore Arena on Friday.

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