Season's largest crowd in AHL sees Jacks tie Loss streak ends at 8

Bears hang on, 3-3

March 28, 1992|By James H. Jackson | James H. Jackson,Staff Writer

The Skipjacks tied the Hershey Bears, 3-3, to break an eight-game losing streak last night before the largest crowd of the season in the AHL, 9,410, at the Baltimore Arena.

It was the Jacks' 10th straight game without a win (0-8-2). The last victory was March 3.

Baltimore, which has been eliminated from the Calder Cup playoff picture, played well enough to win last night, but could not get the game-winner.

"I think we were the better team on the ice," said Skipjacks captain, Simon Wheeldon. "It was a fast-paced game and both teams played well. What we have to do now is keep working hard the rest of the season and not just play out the string."

Last night's crowd was the third largest in Skipjacks history. On March 30, 1990, 10,281 showed up for a game with Hershey and on Feb. 23, 1985, 9,559 were on hand for a game with the Binghamton Whalers.

The Bears and Skipjacks entered the third period tied at 3. John Purves, John Slaney, scoring his first professional goal, and Tim Taylor, had scored for Baltimore and Hershey had goals from Chris Jensen, Len Barrie and Pat Murray.

Goalies Jimmy Waite of Hershey and Byron Dafoe of the Skipjacks kept the third period scoreless, forcing a five-minute sudden-death overtime.

Baltimore had the best scoring opportunity in overtime. Purves broke in from the left circle and put a shot on Waite with 20 seconds remaining. Waite made the save to preserve the tie.

"I tried to shovel the puck into his five hole [between the pads], but he closed his legs and made a good save," said Purves. "This was the best we've played in a long time."

The Skipjacks returned Thursday from a six-game winless trip to the Canadian Maritime Provinces.

"We took a beating on the trip, and it was nice to play well against Hershey because they beat us so many times, and in so many ways that they are probably the main reason we aren't in the playoffs," said Purves. "We just came out and worked hard. We moved the puck well, took good shots and played well on defense. We have to continue to play well the rest of the season."

Bears coach Mike Eaves said: "I thought we were sluggish the first half of the game, but we picked it up after Baltimore scored its third goal. I thought we outplayed them in the third period, but Dafoe came up with some big saves and we hit the post a couple of times."

The Bears' Murray said: "Baltimore played well. They a lot of new, young guys and they wanted to prove themselves. They came out fired up and caught us back on our heels. We recovered and it was a great game."

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