Skipjacks open the season with a tie Late goal saves Binghamton, 6-6

October 10, 1992|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

The Skipjacks opened their 11th American Hockey League season by tying the Binghamton Rangers, 6-6, last night before 2,767 at the Baltimore Arena.

The teams were tied entering the third period. Dave Thomlinson put Binghamton ahead, 5-4, with his second goal only to have Baltimore's Steve Konowalchuk tie it again. With only a few minutes left in the third period, Ken Klee sent the Skipjacks ahead for the first time, but Rob Kenny's goal forced overtime.

"It was a strange game in some ways," Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz said. "Our inexperienced team was down to a veteran team, 3-0. A young team might fold in that situation, but the kids fought back.

"We'll take any point we can get against a team like Binghamton. On paper at least, they're the class of the league. They're a gauge, telling us how we stack up. We made a lot of mistakes, but most of them were on pure energy."

The Skipjacks missed opportunities in the first period, coming up empty after taking the first four shots of the game. They outshot Binghamton in the period, 9-7, but were shut out.

The Rangers took a 2-0 lead on power-play goals by Thomlinson barely four minutes into the game and McReynolds with a minute left in the first period.

The first period was marked by nine penalties, including two for roughing by Binghamton's Kenny and Baltimore's Randy Pearce. nearly erupted into a fight, with the goal being shoved against the boards during the pushing and shoving.

The Skipjacks had a productive second period, surging into a 4-4 tie while outshooting the Rangers, 17-6.

Martin Jiranek, a 23-year-old center from Alberta, scored the Skipjacks' first two goals within 26 seconds midway through the period. Jiranek joined Baltimore for eight games last season after spending most of the year with Bowling Green University of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

After a goal by Rick Bennet gave Binghamton a 4-2 edge, John Byce and Darren McAusland scored late in the period to create the tie.

The game was the season opener for both teams and the first of 10 meetings between the two. The Rangers won the series last season, 4-3-1, and split four meetings with the Skipjacks at the Arena.

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