Skipjacks fall to Devils, 5-3, lose goalie Dafoe to injury

November 21, 1992|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

The Skipjacks lost more than a game last night. They lost their goaltender for at least the rest of the weekend.

Ben Hankinson and Bill Guerin scored two goals apiece to lead the Utica Devils to a 5-3 victory over the Skipjacks before 4,538 at the Baltimore Arena.

On Hankinson's second goal, with less than eight minutes remaining, Baltimore goalie Byron Dafoe sprained his left ankle when a Devil fell on top of him while he was trying to make the save. He will miss tonight's game at Utica and Sunday's at New Haven.

Dafoe was replaced by Duane Derksen. After the game, the Skipjacks asked the parent Capitals for Shawn Simpson as a backup for the weekend. Simpson is many things to the organization: scout, radio commentator and sometime goalie.

"After training camp," Skipjacks assistant coach Paul Gardner said, "we gave Shawn a practice jersey with No. 911."

Baltimore defenseman John Slaney also was hurt, and is questionable for the next two games with a bruised thigh.

In the final period, with more than 12 minutes left, the Skipjacks came within a goal of Utica on John Byce's team-leading 10th score of the season.

The victory enabled the Devils to move a point behind the third-place Skipjacks in the American Hockey League's Southern Division.

The game was 37 seconds old when Utica took the lead. Guerin sent a shot whistling over Dafoe's right shoulder.

The rest of the period was an exercise in futility for the Skipjacks.

They took 12 shots, but came up empty.

During one four-minute stretch, Utica was at least one man short, and sometimes two, yet the Skipjacks got off only one shot. For 2:07 in that stretch, Utica skated two men down.

With 32 seconds left in the period, Hankinson raised the Devils' lead to 2-0. As the Skipjacks left for the locker room, there was a smattering of boos from the crowd.

Each team scored two goals in the second period. Jeff Nelson brought the Skipjacks within a goal, but Guerin's second score of the game restored Utica's two-goal lead.

After Steve Martell, recalled yesterday from Hampton Roads, scored his first goal for the Skipjacks this season, Kevin Todd JTC put the Devils ahead, 4-2. He, too, had joined the Devils only yesterday.

One highlight of the period occurred when Utica's Jeff Christian dropped the Skipjacks' John Slaney with a left-handed punch. Slaney got up right away, albeit groggily.

Press box witnesses agreed that such a punch is seldom seen in the pushing, shoving and posturing of most athletic contest fights.

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