For the Baltimore Skipjacks, it's either feast or famine. After nearly a month of famine, the Skipjacks appear to have begun another feast.
Baltimore's unbeaten streak stretched to three games last night with a 5-3 victory over the Moncton Hawks at the Baltimore Arena as the Skipjacks rallied with three third-period goals.
The victory was the second straight at home for the Skipjacks, who moved into a first-place tie in the AHL Southern Division with the idle Utica Devils.
Tim Bergland was the chief architect of the Baltimore victory, with two goals and two assists, including the goal that broke a 3-3 tie at 18:13 of the final period.
Bergland, who has four goals in three games since being assigned to the Skipjacks by the Washington Capitals for conditioning, knocked in the rebound of a shot by Craig Duncanson for the game-winner. He also assisted on the final goal, scored by Duncanson at 18:28. Duncanson also had three assists, and Reggie Savage and John Purves scored Baltimore's other goals.
"I want to make good use of my time with the Skipjacks," said Bergland. "I want to work hard and take advantage of my ice time and get ready to go back up and help the Capitals in the stretch run."
Laird said of Bergland: "He has such a great work ethic that it has given the entire team a boost. He has made himself a National Hockey League player through hard work. I just hope some of his work ethic will rub off on the rest of us."
Purves, scoring his 22nd goal of the season, walked in on Moncton goalie Mike O'Neill from the left circle and beat him high and to the stick side at 2:32 of the third period to break a 2-2 tie.
Tony Joseph, left unguarded in the left circle, tied the score at 3 for Moncton at 11:21 converting a pass from the rear boards from Rob Cowie. This set the stage for Baltimore's winning rally.
"We took control in the second period and we dominated the game after that," said Laird. "The main asset for us was our strong forechecking. When you forecheck, it creates turnovers, and turnovers become goals."
Moncton.. .. .. 1.. .. 1.. .. 1.. --.. 3
Baltimore .. .. 0.. .. 2.. .. 3.. --.. 5
First period--1. Moncton, Joyce 9 (Eakins, Hartje), 16:29. Penalties--Cowie, Mon (hooking), 1:38; Langille, Mon (tripping), 17:48.
Second period--2. Baltimore, Savage 27 (Bergland, Duncanson), pp, 3:37; 3. Baltimore, Bergland 3 (Hlushko, Duncanson), 14:40; 4. Moncton, Murray 9 (Cowie), pp, 16:25. Penalties--Hartje, Mon (tripping), 3:06; Hlushko, Bal (holding), 7:15; Purves, Bal (elbowing), 15:36.
Third period--5. Baltimore, Purves 22 (Wheeldon, Chambers), 2:32; 6. Moncton, Joseph 2 (Cowie, Cirone), 11:21; 7. Baltimore, Bergland 4 (Hulshko, Duncanson), 18:13; 8. Baltimore, Duncanson 12 (Greenlaw, Bergland), 18:28. Penalties--Murray, Mon ( roughing), 7:04.
Shots on goal--Moncton 11-5-8-24. Baltimore 15-18-12-45. Power play opportunities--Moncton 1 of 2. Baltimore 1 of 4. Goalies--Moncton, O'Neill 1-2- 0 (45 shots, 40 saves). Baltimore, Dafoe 8-5-0 (24-21). A--1,979. Referee--Mick McGeough. Linesmen--Matt Dunne, Rich Zerbe.