Road victory helps Jacks top off a busy weekend

October 21, 1991|By Nestor Aparicio | Nestor Aparicio,Evening Sun Staff

It was weekend of contradictions for the Skipjacks.

At home, where coach Robbie Laird expects victories, the team dropped a pair of games to the Maine Mariners, 3-0 and 5-4.

But last night, on the road in New Haven, Conn., the Jacks dominated play and salvaged the weekend with a 3-2 win over the Nighthawks.

"We got a win, and we're still in first place," said Laird, whose Jacks (4-3) are a point ahead of Hershey (3-5-1) in the Southern Division. "We'll take it."

The Jacks fell behind last night, as they had in their previous two games, on the first of two goals by Stan Drulia at 14:30 of the first period.

But the power-play unit scorched the Nighthawks for a pair goals in the second period, with Bobby Reynolds and Chris Clarke beating George Maneluk for the lead.

The Jacks extended the lead to 3-1 at 6:30 of the final period, when Craig Duncanson beat Maneluk through the pads with a soft wrist shot.

Drulia brought the Nighthawks back to within one 2:08 later, but the Jacks held their own in the defensive end the rest of the way, giving goalie Byron Dafoe his second win of the season.

Dafoe, who made 30 saves, was the Washington Capitals' backup goalie in New Jersey on Saturday night and drove into New Haven yesterday morning with Jacks owner Tom Ebright.

"There was never a question whether he was going to start," Laird said. "He played a great game for us."

Laird said he was pleased at the endurance of his players, who were playing in their third game in as many days, the first of 11 times this season that they'll be faced with the situation.

"There was a lot of energy," Laird said. "It's a positive that we played so hard with such little rest."

Laird shook up the lines last night after the pair of losses, moving John Purves off the line with Simon Wheeldon and Duncanson, and shifting Brent Hughes into Purves' place.

"We needed to mix things up a bit," Laird said. "I'm not saying it's going to be permanent."


The Jacks have released goalie Shawn Simpson from their roster due to the return of Don Beaupre.

Simpson, 23, who has been with the team for parts of three seasons, has been offered a chance to remain with the Jacks and Caps in an administrative capacity and will decide this week whether to accept their offer.

Simpson has been excellent on color commentary with broadcaster Ken Albert whenever he has been scratched from home games, and could become a permanent fixture there as well as performing other community-related duties.

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