A stretch in the low minors did wonders for the Skipjacks' Trevor Halverson.
Back after scoring seven goals in nine games for the Hampton Roads Admirals of the East Coast Hockey League, Halverson has four goals in as many games for the Skipjacks. He had two in the Skipjacks' 4-4 tie with the Rochester Americans yesterday before 1,561 at the Baltimore Arena.
"This has boosted my confidence," said Halverson, 21, a native of Ontario. "Since Christmas, I've started putting the puck in the net. The Hampton experience helped. I wasn't scoring here and there were extra players."
Halverson welcomed the reassignment to Hampton Roads. Although he had played in 23 games, he had only three goals.
"He needed more playing time and to get his touch back," Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz said. "Playing in a weaker league where he was a dominant player helped restore his confidence."
Steve Konowalchuk also had two goals for Baltimore and Peter Ciavaglia led Rochester with two. Ciavaglia has 13 points on eight goals and five assists in five games against the Skipjacks this season.
For the Skipjacks, who had lost four of their last five and two straight, the game ended a demanding six-games-in-eight-days stretch.
"Add in travel and the fact all the games were against Southern Division opponents," Trotz said. "Fatigue was a factor. In the space of 60 hours, we played three games. It was a great character victory that we got a point for a tie, especially against an offensive team like Rochester."
The game had an ironic twist. No sooner had the game ended than Rochester goalkeeper Olaf Kolzig, on loan to the Americans from the Washington Capitals, was called up by the Caps because of an injury to regular goalie Don Beaupre.
Kolzig was 11-6-1 with Rochester, including 3-1-1 against the TTC Skipjacks. He played well in back-to-back games against Baltimore this weekend, making 34 saves yesterday.
"He slapped us in the face," Trotz said. "But you want players in your organization to rise to the occasion."
In view of the Skipjacks' recent congested schedule, it did not particularly disturb Trotz that the team blew a 4-2 lead in the third period. It was 1-1 after the first period, and Konowalchuk gave the Skipjacks a 3-1 edge with successive goals in the second, the last with three minutes remaining.
Ciavaglia, however, closed the period with his first goal of the day to trim Baltimore's lead to 3-2. After Halverson made it 4-2 with his second goal, Ciavaglia came back with his second. He leads the Americans with 20 goals and ranks in the AHL's top 10 in points with 52.
Greg Brown, a defenseman, created the 4-4 tie with 1:33 left, assisted by Jody Gage and Ciavaglia.
"Teams often come back quickly after getting scored on, and Rochester did it," Trotz said. "We've done it to teams, too."
Baltimore goalie Mike Parson had 29 saves. He has done the bulk of the goaltending since Byron Dafoe sprained his ankle Nov. 20. Dafoe is scheduled to return for this weekend's three games.
"He's very close to being ready," Trotz said. "And if he is ready, he'll start."
NOTES: Three Skipjacks returned after missing time with injuries -- Mark Hunter (two games, shoulder), Brad Schlegel (seven games, ankle) and Tim Taylor (two of last three games, ankle ). . . . The game was the second of an AHL-high 10 at home this month for the Skipjacks. . . . They have three home games this weekend -- Friday against the Hershey Bears and Saturday and Sunday against the New Haven Senators.
Rochester 1 1 2 0 -- 4
Baltimore 1 2 1 0 -- 4