The Skipjacks' woes continued at the Baltimore Arena yesterday. Canadian Olympic defenseman Brad Schlegel made his debut, but even he couldn't help his sluggish teammates.
The Capital District Islanders, who hadn't won in five games, dealt the Skipjacks a 4-1 loss before 4,732 fans. Friday night, the teams played a 2-2 tie.
The Skipjacks, 0-5-2 in their past seven home games, are 2-15-3 in their past 20 overall. They are in last place in the Southern Division of the American Hockey League, eight points behind the Utica Devils for the final playoff spot.
Capital District scored 39 seconds after the opening faceoff on Greg Parks' shot from the left goal line that went between goalie Ollie Kolzig and the goal post. Parks scored again on an almost identical shot before the first period was over, and Travis Green's goal from the slot made it 3-0 after two periods.
"It was a big weekend for us," said Parks. "We came in here looking for a split and we walk away with three points. On my first goal, I picked up a rebound and was able to get a shot toward the goal and luckily it went in. On the second goal, I got a rebound off a shot from the point and slid it in."
John Byce's power-play goal 17 seconds into the third period gave Baltimore hope for a last-ditch rally, however the Islanders' defense and goalie Danny Lorenz shut down the Skipjacks the rest of the way. Lorenz finished with 29 saves and won his 21st game of the season.
"Capital District checked real well," said Barry Trotz, who lost his first game as Skipjacks head coach. "They took away our passing lanes, didn't let us get into the slot and denied us any rebounds. They played a very responsible game.
'Whenever you allow a goal on the first shift it can be disheartening, and it took us a while to recover. We looked like we were going to come back when we scored early in the third period, but every time we got something started [Joe] Reekie and [Dean] Chynoweth came out on the ice and shut us down. Their goalie played well. He didn't make any mistakes. We worked very hard, but we still have a ways to go."
Capital District added an empty net goal by Reekie with 34 seconds remaining.
Trotz said he was pleased with the play of Schlegel, who made his professional debut yesterday after signing a Washington Capitals contract Friday night.
"Schlegel showed me some good things," Trotz said. "You have to remember that he hadn't been on skates for a week [Schlegel played for Canada in the gold-medal game against the Unified Team in the Winter Olympics last Sunday in Albertville, France], so it will take him awhile to get his legs back."
NOTES: The Skipjacks scratched D Jiri Vykoudal, RW Trevor Halverson and D Chris Clarke. . . . C Harry Mews has been assigned to ECHL Hampton Roads. . . . The Skipjacks will hold a Hall of Fame night March 28. Scheduled for induction to the Baltimore Hockey Hall of Fame are coaches Terry Reardon and Gene Ubriaco; trainer Ray "Gump" Embro; players Howie Menard, Kent Douglas, Bennett Wolfe and Gilles Boivert; and broadcaster Jim West. . . . The Skipjacks have drawn 105,639 to 30 games at the Baltimore Arena, an average of 3,521, up slightly from last season. . . . Former Colts Tom Matte and Randy McMillan and former Oriole Ron Hansen dropped the ceremonial first puck at yesterday's game.
Capital District 2 1 1 -- 4
Baltimore 0 0 1 -- 1
First period: 1. Capital District, Parks 29 (Reekie, Grieve), 0:39; 2. Capital District, Parks 30 (Chynoweth, Reekie), 14:01. Penalties: Townshend, C.D. ( slashing), 0:57; Walcott, Bal (slashing), 0:57; Chynoweth, C.D. (roughing), 17:28; Sabourin, Bal (roughing), 17:28; Parks, C.D. (hooking), 19:59.
Second period: 3. Capital District, Green 18 (Kromm), 11:41. Penalties: Huber, C.D. ( hooking), 4:51; Chynoweth, C.D. (holding), 7:54; Smith, Bal (slashing), 8:30.
Third period: 4. Baltimore, Byce 31 (Seftel, Wheeldon), pp, 0:17; 5. Capital District, Reekie 2, en, 19:26. Penalties: none.
Shots on goal: Capital District 14-11-6-31. Baltimore 11-9-10-30. Power play opportunities: Capital District 0 of 1. Baltimore 1 of 3. Goalies: Capital District, Lorenz 21-18-7 (30 shots, 29 saves). Baltimore, Kolzig 3-14-3 (30-27). Attendance: 4,732. Referee: Paul Devorski. Linesmen: Mike Condon, Matt Dunne.