Jacks' Dafoe turns stingy against Maple Leafs, 4-1

January 18, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

In less than 48 hours, Skipjacks goalie Byron Dafoe went from cold to hot -- playing against the same team.

Giving up seven goals, as he did in a 7-4 loss Friday night to the St. John's Maple Leafs -- that's cold.

Giving up one goal to one of the AHL's hottest teams, as he did yes- terday in a 4-1 victory over St. John's -- that's hot.

"Everybody has a bad day at work once in awhile," Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz said. "Friday was Byron's."

The Skipjacks' victory before 5,829 at the Baltimore Arena -- their second-largest turnout of the season -- ended St. John's unbeaten streak at eight games. Reggie Savage scored two goals to raise his team-high total to 29.

Before the game, Trotz was talking about the necessity of tightening the defense in the aftermath of Friday's game.

"We need a better job from Byron," Trotz said. "That was his worst in a long time. He wasn't sharp. He gave up three or four easy goals, and that was the difference. When the score is close, as it was a couple times, that takes the steam out of a team."

After a 31-save performance yesterday raised his record to 4-1-1 since he returned from an ankle injury, Dafoe acknowledged his poor job Friday.

"I had a feeling it wasn't going to be my night when my water RTC bottle got knocked off the top of the cage to the ice and a shot deflected off it into the goal," Dafoe said.

"Today, the team had such a great first period that it gave me confidence and carried me through the game."

The game's key was in the second period when the Skipjacks were nursing a 2-0 lead. For 97 frantic seconds, St. John's had a five-on-three manpower advantage, but came up empty.

Dafoe made five saves during the flurry, including one that Trotz called "huge." While Dafoe was prone on the ice, he stopped a slap shot by Bob Halkidis.

"That was the turning point, no question," Trotz said. "We killed their five-on-three."

Mark Hunter, who has 11 goals and nine assists in his past 12 games, gave the Skipjacks a 1-0 lead. John Byce followed with his 24th goal of the season before Drake Berehowsky trimmed Baltimore's lead to 2-1.

Savage added the final two scores, giving him eight goals and two assists in six games.

"It's no secret," Savage said. "I work harder, the team works harder and the puck goes in."

"Reggie's role is to score," Trotz said. "That's what the [parent Washington] Capitals want to see, and if he keeps it up, he'll be close to going up again."

The loss was the first for the Maple Leafs on their eight-game trip, which they finished 5-1-2. Yesterday, they were playing their third game in three days.

NOTES: Sports Channel America televised the game into 8 million homes in Canada and the United States. . . . Although yesterday was officially the end of the Maple Leafs' trip, they won't play their next four home games at their arena in St. John's because of a strike by city workers that has forced the building to close. The Maple Leafs will play the Hamilton Canucks twice in Toronto and the Fredericton Canadiens twice in Montreal.

St. John's 0 1 0 -- 1

Skipjacks 2 0 2 -- 4

First period--1. Baltimore, Hunter 13 (Konowalchuk), 5:02; 2. Baltimore, Byce 24 ( Schlegel, Nelson), 9:43. Penalties--Hawkins, St.J (roughing), 5:51; Slaney, Bal (roughing), 5:51; Hunt, St.J (roughing), 10:56.

Second period--3. St. John's, Berehowsky 6 (Cimetta, Eastwood), pp, 10:58. Penalties--Berehowsky, St.J (roughing), :59; Greenlaw, Bal (roughing), :59; Nelson, Bal (interference), 3:17; Hunter, Bal (cross checking), 3:40; Eastwood, St.J (hooking), 7:18; Taylor, Bal (high sticking, roughing), 9:43; Hunt, St.J (roughing), 9:43; Wohlers, St.J (high sticking), 12:19; Halverson, Bal (holding the stick), 15:49; Augusta, St.J (roughing), 18:07; McClelland, St.J (roughing), 18:07; Hunter, Bal (high sticking), 18:07; Serowik, St.J (cross checking), 20:00.

Third period--4. Baltimore, Savage 28 (Slaney, Byce), :55; 5. Baltimore, Savage 29 (Slaney), 15:19. Penalties--McAusland, Bal (high sticking), 1:51; Savage, Bal (high sticking), 6:29; Slaney, Bal (high sticking), 10:40; Augusta, StJ (high sticking), 10:40; Poeschek, StJ (high sticking), 15:42; Halkidis, StJ (slashing), 16:22.

Shots on goal--St. John's 9-17-6--32. Baltimore 13-12-13--38. Power-play opportunities--St. John's 1 of 6. Baltimore 1 of 8. Goalies--St. John's, Rhodes (38 shots, 34 saves); Baltimore, Dafoe (32 shots, 31 saves). A--5,829. Referee--Rob Martell. Linesmen--Richard Zerbe, Matt Dunne.

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