Power outage saps Jacks' energy in frustrating loss to St. John's

March 23, 1992|By Brendan McCarthy | Brendan McCarthy,Contributing Writer

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland -- When the lights dimmed at Memorial Stadium yesterday afternoon, so did the Skipjacks' chances of beating the St. John's Maple Leafs.

That's the feeling of Baltimore coach Barry Trotz, whose team eventually dropped its sixth straight American Hockey League game, 6-4 to the Leafs.

With the score tied at 4 at the 12:50 mark of the third period, a problem at a hydroelectric generating station led to a chain of events that resulted in a number of lights at the stadium being knocked out.

After a five-minute delay, it was decided to resume the game, even though all the lights had not been restored.

Forty-two seconds after the restart, St. John's Curtis Hunt scored the game-winner, persevering at the side of the Baltimore net and poking the puck past Skipjacks goalie Olaf Kolzig.

"I thought we had them on the ropes before the power bump," said Trotz. "We had fought back all game and had some momentum going. What happened is pretty indicative of our season lately. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong."

The loss also wasted a strong effort by Baltimore right wing John Purves, who had a hat trick. Reggie Savage had the other Skipjacks goal.

Greg Johnston, Keith Osborne, Rob Cimetta, Mike Eastwood and Todd Gillingham were the other scorers for the Maple Leafs, who had held 2-0 and 3-1 leads.

Hunt, normally a defenseman, was playing left wing in the third period. St. John's coach Marc Crawford made the move after forwards Mike MacWilliam and Kevin Maguire, and Baltimore defenseman Dennis Smith were ejected after a fight late in the second period.

"I like playing up front," Hunt said. "I know the centers and wingers will disagree, but I think it's easier being a forward."

For Trotz, there was nothing easy about the game. His biggest disappointment was that his team's effort wasn't rewarded.

"These guys gave me everything they had," said Trotz, "and we still don't have anything to show for it."

Lack of size in the defensive corps hurt Baltimore in the final

period. Bob Babcock's sore hand meant he hadn't dressed for the Skipjacks, and Smith's ejection left Chris Clarke, Jason Woolley and Jiri Vykoukal trying to hold off some of the larger St. John's forwards.

Babcock's injury is just one in a series of hurts for Baltimore. For the second game in a row, leading scorer Simon Wheeldon (knee) did not dress. Jeff Greenlaw (back) and Steve Seftel (knee) also were missing yesterday, meaning that 10 regulars are on the injury list.

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