The Baltimore Skipjacks didn't win last night, but they didn't lose, either.
Baltimore also did something it had done only once before this season. The Skipjacks did not lose a game when trailing after two periods.
The Skipjacks rallied with a pair of third-period goals to tie the Adirondack Red Wings, 3-3, before 4,443 at the Baltimore Arena.
The tie was the second for Baltimore when trailing after two periods. The Skipjacks are 0-13-2 in that situation. It was also Baltimore's second game in a row without a loss and kept the Skipjacks from falling more than one point behind the Binghamton Rangers, who defeated the New Haven Nighthawks, last night, in the AHL Southern Division.
"We played well," said Baltimore goalie Jim Hrivnak, who made 31 saves, including two on breakaways. "Our defense played well. We only had a couple of lapses, a short-handed goal, a deflection during a power play and a three-man rush. It was a big effort because we had been very poor in the third period all season and we came back tonight [last night]. One point in the standings isn't bad when you consider how close the division race is."
John Purves' power-play goal early in the first period gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead. Adirondack rallied on a short-handed goal by Lonnie Loach and a power-play goal by Kelly Hurd for a 2-1 lead after two periods.
"That was a huge tie," said Purves, reflecting on the final score. "Adirondack is on a roll. They came in here on a five-game winning streak. Our comeback in the third period is a big boost. It is something positive to build on."
Brent Hughes beat Red Wings goalie Scott King, after Mark Ferner had stolen the puck from Gary Shuchuk, to tie the score at 2:41 of the third period, and Trevor Halverson, converting the rebound of a shot by Reggie Savage at 5:56 for a 3-2 Baltimore lead.
Chris Tancill tied the score at 3 for Andirondack with 3:43 remaining when he finished a three-on-two break by beating Hrivnak from close range to force a five-minute overtime period.
"We have a new motto, 'BAND,' " said Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "That stands for Belief, Alertness, Now, and Determination. We had great belief and determination tonight. We rallied to take the lead, and Adirondack's last goal was tough. They executed a very nice three-man rush, and there was not much Hrivnak could do about it. Adirondack is the hottest team in the AHL right now, and I'm not unpleased with a point [for the tie] against them."
Barry Melrose, the Red Wings' coach, said: "Hrivnak played well, but so did our guy [King]. A point on the road against a team like Baltimore can't make you unhappy."
NOTES: In a collegiate preliminary game, UMBC defeated Gettysburg, 6-3. . . . D Ken Sabourin and RW Richie Walcott rejoined the Skipjacks for last night's game. Sabourin has been assigned by the Washington Capitals and Walcott has returned from a two-week stay with the ECHL Hampton Roads Admirals. . . . D Jim Mathieson, C Victor Gervais, RW Jeff Greenlaw and C Tim Taylor all missed last night's game with the flu. . . . The Skipjacks are in the midst of a three-games-in-three days weekend. Tonight Baltimore will be at Binghamton, N.Y., and tomorrow back at home against Utica.
Adirondack 1 1 1 0 -- 3
Baltimore .1 0 2 0 -- 3
First period--1. Baltimore, Purves 26 (Wheeldon, Duncanson), pp, 2. Adirondack, Loach 21 (Primeau, Dollas), sh, 16:32. Penalties--Kennedy, Adr ( roughing), 1:20; Tomlinson, Adr (fighting), 4:04; Walcott, Bal (instigating and fighting), 4:04; McDougall, Adr (interference), 5:29; Kennedy, Adr ( unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:57; McDougall, Adr (roughing), 9:31; Tomlinson, Adr (fighting and misconduct), 13:00; Walcott, Bal (fighting and misconduct), 13:00; Cummins, Adr (elbowing), 14:40; Hlushko, Bal (cross-checking), 19:14.
Second period--3. Adirondack, Hurd 6 (McDougall, Loach), pp, 4:05. Penalites--Martell, Bal (boarding), 0:17; Ferner, Bal (slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct ), 2:38; Cummins, Adr (unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:07; Halverson, Bal ( unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:07; Dupuis, Adr (tripping), 8:05; Sabourin, Bal ( high-sticking), 11:04; McDougall, Adr (holding), 15:16.
Third period--4. Baltimore, Hughes 22 (Ferner), 2:41; 5. Baltimore, Halverson 10 ( Savage), 5:56; 6. Adirondack, Tancill 26 (Kennedy, Malgunas), 16:17. Penalties--Primeau, Adr (elbowing), 3:05; Hlushko, Bal (holding), 6:23; Malgunas, Adr ( cross-checking), 8:17; McDougall, Adr (cross-checking), 14:42; Wheeldon, Bal ( roughing), 14:42.
Shots on goal--Adirondack 6-17-11-0-34. Baltimore 9-7-9-3-28. Power-play opportunities--Adirondack 1 of 7. Baltimore 1 of 9. Goalies--Adirondack, King 6- 1-1 (28 shots, 25 saves). Baltimore, Hrivnak 10-5-3 (34-31). Att--4,443. Referee--Blaine Angus. Linesmen--Gary Madsen, Brett Parson.