PORTLAND, Maine -- The Baltimore Skipjacks got to Maine's home before Maine yesterday morning and made themselves at home.
But Baltimore, which took a four-goal lead early in the second period, had to withstand a Maine rally and go to overtime to beat the Mariners, 8-7, before 3,387 at Cumberland Country Civic Center.
Simon Wheeldon scored on an assist from John Purves 38 seconds into overtime to lift the Skipjacks to their third straight victory.
Maine scored three goals in the third period and tied it with just 29 seconds remaining on Peter Prajsler's shot from the left circle.
But Baltimore came back in overtime when Chris Clarke stole the pick and fed it to Purves at the right wing. He faked a shot and then sent the puck to the center where Wheeldon was waiting.
The teams meet again here today at 2:30 p.m.
The Skipjacks arrived in Portland from Friday's victory over Springfield at 2 a.m. But that was an early night compared to the home Mariners. Maine, coming off a 7-6 loss to the Utica Devils in New York, arrived in Portland at 6 a.m.
And, boy, did it show.
Maine slept in through the first period at Cumberland County Civic Center, giving up four first-period goals to the Skipjacks.
The Jacks allowed Maine the first five shots of the game and even spotted the Mariners a one-goal lead. Ralph Barahona knocked in a rebound of a Brad Tiley shot at 4:45 of the first for Maine's only lead.
The rest of the way the Skipjacks got off 11 shots to Maine's one. Reggie Savage tied it when he shot a rebound of a Todd Hlushko shot over a sprawled John Blue.
The Jacks took the lead on their first of two first-period power-play goals. Jim Mathieson used a screen in front of Blue and picked the corner low to the goalie's right. Baltimore's Brent Hughes then contributed to what is fast becoming a Maine habit when he scored a short-handed goal.
Hughes skated into the zone on a partial breakaway and faked Maine defenseman Jack Capuano to the ice in the slot before shooting it between Blue's pads. That goal came with just 1 minute, 25 seconds left in the period but the Skipjacks weren't done.
After another Maine penalty, Ken Lovsin and Co. took just nine seconds to all but put the game away in the first period. The defenseman scored from the blue line with 56 seconds left in the period.
After the Jacks made it 5-1 just 38 seconds into the second, Maine showed some signs of coming out of its first-period lethargy. But each time the Skipjacks scored quickly, keeping Maine from getting closer than three goals.
Mike Rosetti made it 5-2 at the nine-minute mark but just 16 seconds later Purves deflected a pass from Craig Duncanson in the slot to retain the four-goal lead.
Maine's Dave Thomlinson scored on a rebound after John Byce's wraparound attempt failed at 9:51. But just 2:12 later Duncanson scored on the power play, Baltimore's third man-advantage goal in four attempts, making it 7-3.
Barahona scored his second of the game on a rebound of a Rosetti shot, making it 7-4. The Mariners had a two-man advantage for the last minute of the second period but couldn't come within three goals.
Baltimore forward Bobby Reynolds left the game with an injury to his right knee after taking a hit from Jeff Lazaro. He did not return.