Skipjacks, Devils try defense, play to 2-2 tie after shootout Savage's tying goal is one of 48 shots

October 25, 1992|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

The Skipjacks and Utica Devils can't seem to decide whether they want to play offense or defense.

After a 10-8 shootout Friday night, the teams battled to a 2-2 tie last night at the Baltimore Arena. The Skipjacks took a staggering 48 shots; Utica goaltender Chad Erickson had 46 saves.

Forty-two seconds into the third period, Reggie Savage knotted the score at 2. For Savage, who was sent down by the parent Washington Capitals last week, it was his first goal of the season.

Baltimore coach Barry Trotz held a one-hour meeting yesterday morning to discuss Friday night's high-scoring affair and study film. His message: Let's play defense. He suspects Utica had a similar meeting.

"If we play the way we did tonight," Trotz said, "we'll win games."

The Skipjacks (3-2-3) remain tied for first place in the American Hockey League's Southern Division with the Binghamton Rangers (3-0-3), who tied the Hershey Bears for the second straight night, this time 2-2. Both teams have nine points.

The crowd of 6,158 raised the Skipjacks' home attendance for four games to more than 19,000, putting the club approximately 6,000 ahead of last season's pace.

As usual, the Skipjacks dropped behind at the start, giving up a goal to Utica winger Jeff Christian three minutes into the game.

Trotz notes with a wince that his team is making a habit of falling behind early. The Skipjacks were in an 0-3 hole Friday night against Utica, rallied for four goals in the third period and lost, 10-8.

"In our first seven games, we were down by at least two goals in six of them," Trotz said. "We've been coming back, though, so it shows a great survival instinct even when our backs are against the wall. It shows strength of character.

"We'll make it interesting this year, no matter what the score."

The Skipjacks did bounce back at the 8:50 mark to tie the score at 1 on a 55-foot slap shot by Ken Sabourin on the power play. It was the defenseman's second goal of the season.

Baltimore had numerous opportunities in the period, out-shooting Utica 15-7.

The second period was relatively uneventful. In a power-play situation, Ben Hankinson sent Utica into a 2-1 lead midway through the period with his fifth goal of the season.

Unlike Friday night, when Trotz yanked goalie Byron Dafoe after the first period with the Skipjacks trailing, 4-2, the coach let Dafoe play the entire game. Duane Derksen finished Friday night.

"Sometimes when you change goaltenders, the guys rally around the new one," Trotz said. "It can change the momentum.

"Byron was doing OK, but he wasn't really sharp. When we were down two goals like that, the situation couldn't have gotten any worse, so we made the change."

The 10 goals the Skipjacks gave up Friday night tied a club record for most allowed in a home game. Opponents had done it three times previously. The Devils had never played in a game in which so many (18) goals were scored.

NOTES: The Skipjacks' Keith Jones, Steve Konowalchuk, Jeff Nelson, Darren McAusland, Ken Klee and Mike Boback were presented plaques by the club before last night's game in recognition of their first professional goals. . . . G Duane Derksen received a plaque for his first pro victory, last weekend against the Capital District Islanders.

Utica 1 1 0 0 -- 2

Skipjacks 1 0 1 0 -- 2

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