Skipjacks rally, fall short vs. Utica, 10-8

October 24, 1992|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

Jason Miller scored two goals to lead the Utica Devils to a 10-8 victory over the Skipjacks last night before 4,456 at the Arena.

The Skipjacks stormed back from a 9-4 deficit to make it 9-8 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining, but could not close the gap. Claude Vilgrain scored the game's final goal with one second left.

The loss left the Skipjacks with a 3-2-2 record. It was Utica's second win in six games.

Miller scored his third and fourth goals of the season, the first to open the game and the second at the end of the second period.

The game was barely three minutes old when Utica had a 2-0 lead. Miller opened the scoring at 2:02, tapping the puck in lightly from the side when it appeared that Skipjacks goalie Byron Dafoe wasn't looking. Todd Copeland followed with his second exactly one minute later.

After rookie Scott Pellerin extended Utica's lead to 3-0 with his fourth goal of the year, Keith Jones made it 3-1 midway through the period. It was his sixth goal.

Martin Jiranek brought the Skipjacks within a goal of the Devils, only to have Vilgrain close out the period's scoring with a short-handed goal with 1:38 left.

Duane Derksen replaced Dafoe in the Skpjacks' goal at the start of the second period, but didn't fare much better. Derksen allowed three more goals as Utica took a 7-4 lead.

The Devils extended their lead to 6-2 before Jiranek scored his second goal of the evening, and sixth of the season, and Steve Konowalchuk scored his first. Miller then added his second goal for a 7-4 Utica lead.

NOTES: Reggie Savage and Bob Babcock last night played their first gamesince being returned to the Skipjacks by the parent Washington Capitals. Savage is fifth on the Skipjacks' all-time goal-scoring list. Babcock, 6 feet 1, 222, is a solid defender.

"Babcock is the toughest guy around," said Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz. "Already this season he's had three fights with the Philadelphia Flyers' Dave Brown, who's considered the heavyweight champ of the NHL. And Babcock won all three. He can play the game, too.

"Reggie's game is scoring goals. He just has to improve his defensive play."

Savage joins Jiranek on the Skipjacks' all-centers power-play unit. Konowalchuk and Jeff Nelson, also centers, will rotate in the third spot on the line. . .

Skipjacks owner and general manager Tom Ebright received a proclamation from the mayor's office before the game for keeping hockey in Baltimore. . . Last night marked the 30th anniversary of the first event in the Arena, then known as the Civic Center. The Baltimore Clippers played the Providence Reds on Oct. 23, 1962.

Utica .. .4 3 3 -- 10

Skipjacks 2 2 4 -- 8

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