Skipjacks bearing down on Herr Cup after 6-2 win

January 30, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

The Skipjacks are only one win away from reclaiming the Herr's Cup.

Awarded annually to the winner of the Skipjacks-Hershey Bears season series, the cup went to Hershey last season after the Skipjacks had won it the previous two.

The Skipjacks' 6-2 victory over Hershey Friday night at the Baltimore Arena raised their record to 7-3 against the Bears with four games remaining.

"We got on top of them quick and didn't give them many chances to score," Mark Hunter said. "We dominated every aspect."

Said coach Barry Trotz: "The Herr's Cup is a big deal because it's like bragging rights. We hate Hershey and they hate us."

In raising their record here against Hershey to 6-0 before their third-largest home crowd (5,705) of the season, the Skipjacks erupted for three third-period goals to break open a close game. Jeff Nelson led the way with two goals and an assist. Steve Konowalchuk had a goal and two assists and Reggie Savage, back with the club after three games with the parent Washington Capitals, had his team-leading 31st goal and two assists.

Tim Tookey scored Hershey's final goal for his 800th AHL career point. He is the ninth player in league history to reach 800.

The victory was costly for Baltimore. Mike Boback will be out a week with a knee injury suffered in the first period and Ken Klee (knee) and John Byce (back) are questionable for tonight's game at Binghamton.

After Hershey jumped to a 1-0 lead on Al Conroy's goal, Baltimore tied it at 1-1 when Nelson scored his seventh goal of the season.

In the second period, Nelson raised the Skipjacks' lead to 2-1 and then Jason Woolley made it 3-1 with 35 seconds left in the period.

Woolley was playing his first game since being reassigned by the parent Washington Capitals. In his first stint with the Skipjacks, covering eight games in December, he scored four goals and had 10 assists.

The Skipjacks will be buttressed for their road game tonight against the Binghamton Rangers, the AHL's winningest team, by the arrival of Eric Murano.

The 25-year-old center was acquired yesterday from the Hamilton Canucks for another center, Tim Taylor, who was in his fourth season with the Skipjacks. Murano had 22 goals and 24 assists in 40 games with the AHL's Hamilton Canucks this season.

"We feel we upgraded ourselves with this trade," Trotz said. "The Canucks wanted Taylor, so it appears to be one of those situations where both teams got what they wanted. New faces. New chances."

Chosen by Vancouver in the fifth round of the 1986 draft, Murano played four years of college hockey with the University of Denver. He was with the Milwaukee Admirals of the International Hockey League the last two seasons and scored 67 goals.

Taylor, 23, was the Capitals' second draft choice in 1988. In 41 games this season, he collected 15 goals and 16 assists.

Taylor is expected to play for Hamilton tonight against the Bears in Hershey.

Skipjacks tonight

Opponent: Binghamton Rangers

Site: Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, N.Y.

Time: 7:35

Outlook: Binghamton, which leads the AHL in most goals scored and fewest allowed, is the only team with more than 30 victories. Despite their success, the Rangers are fifth in the league in average home attendance (4,308). The Skipjacks are 0-5-2 against the Rangers this season, including back-to-back losses last weekend at the Baltimore Arena. Binghamton's Don Biggs is No. 2 in the AHL in points behind the Adirondack Red Wings' Gary Shuchuk; teammates Brian McReynolds and Mike Stevens also are in the top 15. Stevens leads the AHL in game-winning goals.

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