HERSHEY, PA H — *TC HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Baltimore Skipjacks skated to a 4-1 lead early in the third period but had to settle for a 4-4 overtime tie with the Hershey Bears last night in the Hersheypark Arena.
The Skipjacks, with goals from Brent Hughes and Simon Wheeldon and a pair by Reggie Savage, opened a 4-1 lead with 16 minutes, 41 seconds remaining in the third period.
However, Hershey, which ran its unbeaten streak to seven (5-0-2), rallied behind goals by Mark Freer, Al Conroy and Rod Dallman to tie the game with 3:05 remaining in regulation. Dallman's tying goal came when the Skipjacks failed to clear the puck out of their zone and Dallman beat goalie Jim Hrivnak from the left circle.
"We played well, but Hershey came back," said Hrivnak. "It would have been nice to win, but after three straight games on the road, a win and tie aren't too bad."
"It was one heck of a hockey game," said Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "We played tremendous hockey in the second period. This team works for everything it gets. We worked hard to get the lead, but sometimes when you get a three-goal lead, the work ethic is not what it should be. We had our problems in the latter part of the third period."
The tie enabled the Skipjacks, who are 1-1-1 on their four-game trip, to remain in first place in the Southern Division of the AHL tied with the Utica Devils, who beat the Rochester Americans last night, 5-4.
"I'm very happy with the ending," said Hershey coach Mike Eaves. "We beat ourselves early with stupid penalties. It was a very emotional game. I called a timeout when we were down 4-1 and told the team there were two things they could do: roll over and die or get back to our game plan and get back in this game."
Savage, who had an assist as well as his two goals, said: "We didn't get to Hershey until 4 a.m. and we came out a little slow. We got our skating legs in the second period but we let down in the third. On my first goal, Hughes came across the crease and shot the puck but it hit the post. The puck rebounded to me, and when [goalie Dominic] Roussel went down, I put it over him. On the second one, I went across the slot and backhanded the puck into the net."
The Skipjacks' Jeff Greenlaw was checked into Roussel with five minutes remaining in the second period. Both players were sprawled on the ice while the trainers worked on them. Greenlaw had to leave the game with an injured left arm. Roussel finished the period but was replaced by Marc D'Amour, who surrendered the Skipjacks' final two goals, at the start of the third period.
"I hit my head on the ice, and I got dizzy between periods," said Roussel. "We thought it was better that I came out."