The Baltimore Skipjacks are beginning to hate to see the Hershey Bears on the ice against them.
Hershey, the Skipjacks patsies for the first three games of the season, have turned into tigers. Last Saturday at the Hersheypark Arena, the Bears won, 3-1. Last night before 3,782 at the Baltimore Arena, the Bears scored three third-period goals to defeat the Skipjacks, 4-2.
The victory evened the season series at 2-2-1 and cut Baltimore's AHL Southern Division lead to four points over second-place Hershey. Baltimore is 9-5-1 at the Baltimore Arena.
"This one hurts," said Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "We had the lead in the third period and didn't protect it. We had a letdown, especially on the tying goal. Hershey moved their defense to the attack and our forward didn't cover. It's something that shouldn't happen when you're ahead. The winning goal was a well-executed draw play."
Len Barrie's slap shot from the left circle with 14 minutes, 14 seconds remaining in the third period broke a 2-2 tie and gave Hershey the victory. Al Conroy won a faceoff in the right circle and the puck went back to Darren Rumble at the point. Rumble passed the puck across ice to Barrie, who one-timed a shot past goalie Jim Hrivnak.
"I got draw and passed the puck back to Rumble on the point," said Conroy. "He moved it to Barrie, who put the puck right on goal."
Barrie said: "It was a perfect pass from Rumble, and no one was in front of me. I just one-timed the puck on goal, and Hrivnak couldn't handle it. It was a very nice win for us."
The Skipjacks entered the third period with a 2-1 lead on goals by John Purves and Reggie Savage. Eric Dandenault tied the score at 8:32 of the third period when he was left unguarded in the slot and beat Hrivnak from close range.
"We tied the game as a reward for a lot of hard work," said Bears coach Mike Eaves. "We took over from that point. The goal seemed to fire us up. We fore-checked well in their end and took care of things in our own end."
Chris Jensen ended the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:34 of the third period.
Savage's goal was his 20th of the season and his sixth goal and 10th point against Hershey. He has 16 goals in his two seasons with the Skipjacks against the Bears.
"I don't know why I score so well against Hershey," said Savage. "It isn't that I try any harder or do anything differently. It just seems I find the net when I play against them."
Mike Stothers gave Hershey a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when he scored from the slot on a pass from Pat Murray.
Purves tied the score with 59 seconds remaining in the first period by deking his defenseman in the left circle and sliding the puck between the pads of goalie Ray Latourneau.
Savage broke the tie at 15:09 of the second period with a backhand shot from just off the right goal post that went over Latourneau's left shoulder.
NOTES: The Skipjacks have recalled C Victor Gervais from the ECHL Hampton Roads Admirals and returned LW Dave Morissette to the Admirals. RW Richie Walcott had his suspension rescinded by the AHL because his game misconduct penalties were decided to be of a kind not to warrant a suspension. . . . G Dominic Roussel was supposed to join Hershey on assignment from the Philadelphia Flyers, but failed to arrive last night. . . . The Skipjacks ranked ninth in the AHL in attendance averaging 3,046 a game at the Baltimore Arena. The Rochester Americans lead with 5,857 and Hershey is second with 4,931.
Hershey 1 0 3 -- 4
Baltimore 1 1 0 -- 2
First period--1. Hershey, Stothers 2 (Murray, Dallman), 9:51; 2. Baltimore, Purves 18 (Hughes), 19:01. Penalties--Latourneau, Her (interference), 0:17; Barrie, Her (slashing), 8:29; Mathieson, Bal (slashing), 8:29.
Second period--3. Baltimore, Savage 20 (Lovsin, Reynolds), pp, 15:09. Penalties--Walcott, Bal (roughing), 6:36; Vykoukal, Bal (misconduct), 6:36; Dandenault, Her (roughing), 8:19; Gervais, Bal (tripping), 11:30; Conroy, Her (holding), 14:37.
Third period--4. Hershey, Dandenault 2 (Dall, Hostak), 8:32; 5. Hershey, Barrie 11 (Rumble, Conroy), 14:14; 6. Hershey, Jensen 15 (Fenyves, Stothers), en, 19:34. Penalties--Hostak, Her (hooking), 3:54; Hughes, Bal (tripping), 5:56; Hostak, Her (high-sticking), 11:08.
Shots on goal--Hershey 8-13-16-37. Baltimore 10-10-9-29. Power-play opportunities--Hershey 0 of 3. Baltimore 1 of 5. Goalies--Hershey, Latourneau 4- 3-1 (29 shots, 27 saves). Baltimore, Hrivnak 6-3-1 (36-33). A--3,782. Referee--Dennis LaRue. Linesmen--Matt Dunne, Mike Smith.