Skipjacks bedeviled again, lose, 7-4 Squander lead 2nd game in row

December 28, 1992|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

If the Skipjacks have a killer instinct, they've been concealin it lately.

For the second straight game, they squandered a lead last night, losing to the Utica Devils, 7-4, before 2,138 at the Baltimore Arena.

The Skipjacks jumped to a 4-0 first-period lead, but dissipated all of it and then some, giving up seven straight goals. On Saturday night in Hershey, the Skipjacks surrendered 2-0 and 3-2 leads, and the Bears went on to win, 5-3.

Bill Guerin, a first-round draft choice of the NHL's New Jersey Devils in 1989, scored the tie-breaking goal, giving Utica the lead, at 5-4, for the first time with 12:23 left.

Utica narrowed Baltimore's edge to 4-3 in the second period. Utica tied it at 4 on Scott Pellerin's goal less than two minutes into the third period. Pellerin finished with a hat trick.

Baltimore coach Barry Trotz keeps stressing to his players the importance of this seven-game stretch. Starting with Saturday's loss to Hershey, the Skipjacks play seven straight AHL Southern Division rivals. They meet Hershey three times and Utica and Rochester twice each.

"It's four points every time you play a division rival," Trotz said. "If we had beaten Hershey Saturday, we'd have been four points ahead of them. As it was, we came home even."

The game was 10 seconds old when the Devils had a 1-0 lead -- or thought they did. The goal was disallowed because of an incorrect starting lineup violation. Doug Brown was in the lineup submitted to referee Dan O'Halloran, but Pellerin was on the ice. Mark Hunter, who missed Saturday night's game in Hershey because of the flu, returned to score the game's first goal. Bruce Konowalchuk gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead when he stole the puck from Kevin Dean and raced in to score.

John Byce broke out of his tie with Reggie Savage for the team scoring lead by driving in No. 20 on a 55-foot slap shot to make it 3-0. Byce has scored in eight straight games, collecting nine goals and five assists.

Tim Taylor raised the lead to 4-0 on a feed from Hunter, but banged into the boards and had to be assisted from the ice. He returned in the second period.

Just as they had twice blown leads Saturday night in a 5-3 loss at Hershey, the Skipjacks appeared bent on squandering their 4-0 advantage. The Devils scored three goals in the second period.

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