Skipjacks end 7-game slide, 3-1 Rochester falls as Hrivnak saves 36

December 30, 1991|By Larry Bump | Larry Bump,Special to The Sun

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A big difference -- 16 days, seven games, one week, five minutes.

Last night, the Baltimore Skipjacks won for the first time in their past seven games, since Dec. 13, with a 3-1 victory over the Rochester Americans.

The victory came on the same ice where one week earlier Rochester had scored a 6-4 win over the Skipjacks and goalie Jim Hrivnak.

With his 36 saves, and 58 minutes of shutout hockey, Hrivnak was last night's star.

"I don't know where I really played that much different tonight than last week," Hrivnak said. "I saw the puck just as well last week, but the luck went our way this time."

With the help of three power plays that took up 9 of last night's first 17 minutes, Hrivnak almost could have taken the first period off. The Americans didn't put a shot on goal for the first 12 1/2 minutes.

Five of those power-play minutes came after just 52 seconds, when Rochester's Brad Rubachuk drew a major penalty for slashing Trevor Halverson, and a game misconduct as well.

A little more than a minute later, the Skipjacks' Simon Wheeldon put in his 20th goal of the season. He skated into the slot, took a pass from John Purves and fired the puck past goalie Bill Pye into the lower right corner of the net.

"That power play gave us a lot of momentum," Wheeldon said. "We'd been sloughing off a little bit on the power play. But with Brent Hughes and John Purves always in the corner getting the puck to me on the power play, that helped a lot."

Despite a 13-4 advantage in shots and another 7-plus minutes of power play, Baltimore couldn't score again in the first period.

After that, the game was virtually all Rochester. The Americans peppered Hrivnak with 16 shots in the second period and 17 in the third, but they weren't able to score until they pulled their goalie in the game's last 2:40.

"I'm glad it happened," Hrivnak. "After facing only four shots in the first period, I didn't want to get stale. I think in the second period when I stopped their power plays was a big part of the game. I made a glove save on a shot from the top of the circle, and then I stopped a point-blanker [by Joel Savage] when I was lying on my side. I was a little lucky there.

"Then scoring our second goal in the third period really clinched it."

Baltimore 1 0 2 -- 3

Rochester 0 0 1 -- 1

First period--1. Baltimore, Wheeldon 20 (Purves, Ferner) 2:15 (PP). Penalties--Rubachuk, Roch (spearing major, game misconduct) 0:52; Baseggio, Roch (hooking) 9:29; Ruff, Roch (slashing) 15:09; Gervais, Balt (hooking) 18:12.

Second period--no scoring. Penalties--Walcott, Balt (elbowing) 2:46; Hlushko, Balt (roughing) 4:01; Gage, Roch (high sticking) 4:01; McSween, Roch (roughing) 6:29; Martell, Balt (roughing) 6:29; Clarke, Balt (high sticking) 9:32; Hughes, Balt (slashing) 15:42; Gage, Roch (slashing) 15:42; Gervais, Balt (unsportsmanlike conduct) 19:20; Gage, Roch (unsportsmanlike conduct) 19:20.

Third period--2. Wheeldon 21 (Purves) 5:38. 3. Rochester, Gage 25 (Brown, McSween) 18:11; 4. Baltimore, Purves 20 (Reynolds) 19:02 (EN). Penalties--Mathieson, Balt (holding) 3:08; Winch, Roch (interference) 10:23; Hlushko, Balt (holding) 11:03.

Shots on goal--Baltimore 13-4-9--26, Rochester 4-16-17--37. Goalies--Baltimore, Hrivnak 7-4-2 (37 shots, 36 saves). Rochester, Pye 0-4-0 (25 shots, 23 saves). Power-play opportunities--Baltimore 1-5, Rochester 0-5. Penalties--Baltimore 8 for 16 minutes, Rochester 9-29. A--5,786. Referee--Dennis Larue. Linesmen--Tim Nowak, Kevin O'Brien.

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