Skipjacks' defense bedeviled by Devils Utica prevails with 10-goal spree

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

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

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

"I guess it was encouraging," Skipjacks assistant coach Paul Gardner said, referring to his team's four straight goals in the third period, "but it's extremely disappointing to give up 10 goals in your own rink. You can't do that and ever expect to win. We weren't willing to pay the price defensively."

The Skipjacks (3-2-1) dropped into a tie for first place in the American Hockey League's Southern Division with the Binghamton Rangers, who tied the Hershey Bears, 3-3.

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 (2-4) had a 2-0 lead. Miller opened the scoring at 2:02, tapping the puck in 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 Skipjacks' goal at the star 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.

5,8 NOTES: Reggie Savage and Bob Babcock Friday nigh played their first game since being returned to the Skipjacks by the parent Washington Capitals.

Savage is fifth on the Skipjacks' all-time goal-scoring listBabcock, 6 feet 1, 222, is a solid defender.

Utica 4 3 3 -- 10

Skipjacks 2 2 4 -- 8

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