Dafoe is sharp in return Skipjacks rout Bears, 7-2

January 09, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

Byron Dafoe staged a grand performance in his return to the Skipjacks.

Playing for the first time since Nov. 20 after missing 20 games with a badly sprained ankle, Dafoe led the Skipjacks to a 7-2 victory over the Hershey Bears last night before 3,228 at the Baltimore Arena. He had 27 saves.

Dafoe was closing in on the Skipjacks' first shutout since Olaf Kolzig blanked Capital District last March 28 when Tim Tookey broke the spell 4:26 into the final period. The victory raised Dafoe's record against Hershey this year to 3-0-0.

"He made pretty good saves, and about 10 really good ones," coach Barry Trotz said. "Sometimes a guy lacks conditioning and timing when he comes back after a long layoff. He's not used to the speed of the game. But that wasn't the case with Byron."

The Skipjacks moved into sole possession of third place in the AHL's Southern Division, breaking a tie with Hershey. The Bears have not won here this season in five tries and trail the season series, 3-6-0. Hershey is 2-17-2 on the road.

The Skipjacks had a 6-0 lead when the Bears began to nibble. After Tookey posted his 25th goal of the season, Chris Jensen scored his 14th. Reggie Savage's 23rd goal of the season and second of the night put Baltimore up 7-2.

"Between the second and third periods, when we had a shutout, I said let's try to play a perfect game," Trotz said. "We were OK the first five minutes of the third period, then got a little sloppy and gave up those goals."

Savage and Tim Taylor scored two goals apiece for Baltimore and Mike Boback had four assists.

Only 14 seconds into the game, Baltimore took a 1-0 lead on Jeff Nelson's sixth goal of the season. Less than two minutes later, John Slaney made it 2-0 with his eighth, getting assists from Boback, the team's assists leader, and Dafoe.

Slaney and Boback picked up assists later in the period when Taylor gave the Skipjacks a 3-0 advantage with his 13th goal.

The second period, in which Baltimore raised its lead to 6-0, was interrupted by an eight-player brawl. Sticks and gloves littered the ice as the players jostled, pushed, wrestled, held and even threw an occasional punch.

All eight players drew penalties. Vyacheslav Butsayev was ejected after being nailed with instigating, roughing and fighting penalties.

After Trevor Halverson made it 4-0, Taylor scored his second goal of the game and Savage notched his 22nd for a 6-0 bulge.

NOTES: Former Clippers GM Terry Reardon is in St. Joseph's Hospital with a heart condition, according to Gump Embro, the trainer and backup goalie on the old Clippers teams. . . . The game started 11 minutes late because of a scoreboard problem. The scoreboard hung at a rakish angle above the ice all night.

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