Rangers tie Jacks in final minute, 7-7 Streak ends despite Hunter's hat trick

December 19, 1992|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

Mark Hunter's hat trick wasn't quite enough to salvage this one for the Skipjacks.

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Skipjacks settled for a 7-7 tie with the league-leading Binghamton Rangers last night before 1,815 at the Baltimore Arena.

"I'm happy with the point, with the tie," said Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz. "We're still unbeaten in five games and we played the best team in the league. They've only lost four games."

The Skipjacks had a 7-6 lead in the third period thanks to Steve Konowalchuk's tie-breaking goal with 3:53 left, only to have Binghamton's Dave Thomlinson tie it at 7 with 29 seconds left in regulation. That gave Thomlinson a hat trick, too.

Hunter's first two goals gave the Skipjacks a 4-2 lead early in the second period. His third provided a 6-4 advantage. John Byce has Baltimore's only other hat trick this sea

son, last Sunday against the New Haven Senators.

Binghamton coach Ron Smith, acknowledging the edge in experience his club has over the Skipjacks, told Trotz after the game: "You guys always play us tough. All our games have been great. Your kids don't give up. They show good composure for such a young club."

The score was tied five times.

Binghamton's Brian McReynolds scored the game's first goal, an ominous sign since the Rangers began the night undefeated (16-0-3) when they scored first.

Darren McAusland tied it at 1, solving Corey Hirsch. The AHL's top-rated goalie, Hirsch came in with a 13-1-2 record and a 2.78 goals-against average.

After Mike Stevens put Binghamton ahead, Jason Woolley tied it again. Less than a minute later, with 6:51 left in the first period, Hunter gave the Jacks a 3-2 advantage.

Baltimore held its one-goal edge in the second period, despite failing to score during a five-on-three advantage for 2:35. Hunter scored his second goal of the night for a 4-2 Skipjacks lead only to have Binghamton's Per Djoos and Thomlinson score within 19 seconds of each other, tying the score for the third time, at 4.

Byce then scored his 18th goal of the season and Hunter had his hat trick with 3:01 left in the period. Craig Duncanson brought the Rangers within 6-5, setting up Thomlin

son's last-minute heroics.

NOTES: The Skipjacks lost their captain when defenseman Ken Sabourin was traded by Washington to Calgary this week. Trotz named Hunter, 30, the new captain. . . . Duncanson returned for the Rangers after a three-game suspension for kneeing an opponent during a fight. . . . Binghamton is on pace to break a batch of AHL records. Its projected totals of 59 wins and 128 points would surpass Cincinnati's mark of 54 and 113 in 1972-73. The Rangers also would break the record for fewest games lost over an 80-game schedule, 20 by Binghamton in 1984-85.

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