Skipjacks lose Hunter in 7-2 loss to Rangers

January 31, 1993|By Paul Stuart | Paul Stuart,Contributing Writer

BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK — BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Losing to the Binghamton Rangers was not as hard for Baltimore Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz to stomach as losing veteran right wing Mark Hunter.

Don Biggs and Chris Cichocki each scored a pair of goals to lead the Rangers to a 7-2 victory over Baltimore last night at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

But the biggest loss for Baltimore was Hunter. Trotz said that a slash in the third period by Binghamton left wing Alexei Kovalev broke Hunter's thumb and that he may be out for a month. Hunter responded with a spear and ended up with major penalties for spearing and fighting, along with a game misconduct. He was having the thumb looked at at a local hospital after the game. Kovalev received a fighting major and slashing minor. Trotz said the tape of the incident would be sent to the American Hockey League offices for review.

The Skipjacks were already without forward John Byce, who has a back problem but may return when Baltimore visits Rochester at 2:05 p.m. today. Out indefinitely is rookie center Mike Boback, who suffered a knee injury on Friday.

"It's tough. It seems like we've had everything happen to us this year," Trotz said.

Biggs increased his goal total to 34 and added an assist to boost his AHL-leading point total to 85. His second goal, off a rebound of a shot from Craig Duncanson, came 15 seconds into the third period and gave Binghamton a 4-2 lead. Duncanson made it 5-2 when he scored a power-play goal at 8:36 of the period.

"Biggs scored that one and it's 4-2 and then came the fifth one and it was lights out," Trotz said.

Cichocki and Joby Messier added the final two goals for Binghamton.

The Rangers have won four straight and are unbeaten in 12 (11-0-1). Binghamton, 19-0-1 at home, has won 16 straight at the Arena, putting it within one win of tying a 55-year-old AHL record for consecutive home wins -- 17 -- by the Cleveland Barons in 1937-38.

Biggs scored on a power play at 14:17 of the first period to give Binghamton a 1-0 lead.

Down 2-0 midway through the second period, the Skipjacks battled back to tie the game on goals by John Slaney and Steve Konowalchuk 2:26 apart.

Boris Rousson was making his first start in goal for the Rangers since Dec. 29 -- a stretch of 11 games.

Messier and Biggs slipped in behind Rousson and stole a goal from Konowalchuk, clearing a backhand shot that was dribbling along the goal line. Messier also went down to block a Konowalchuk shot on a 2-on-2 break and tied up a breaking Hunter on what would have been another scoring chance.

Center Eric Murano, acquired from Vancouver in a trade for center Tim Taylor on Friday, made his Skipjacks debut. He

played on several lines and on the power play.

NOTES: Baltimore scratches included Boback, Byce and Rob Leask. . . . Reggie Savage increased his point streak to nine games with an assist. . . . The Skipjacks are 0-6-2 against Binghamton with two games left in the season series.

Skipjacks 0 2 0 -- 2

Binghamton 1 2 4 -- 7

Skipjacks today

Opponent: Rochester Americans

Site: War Memorial Auditorium, Rochester, N.Y.

Time: 2:05

Outlook: This is Rochester's fourth game in five days and Baltimore's third in a row. The Americans, third in the AHL in average attendance (5,430), are 15-6-0 at home. They are a distant second to the Binghamton Rangers in the league's Southern Division. The Skipjacks are 1-3-1 against Rochester this season. The teams last met Jan. 1 and 2, playing to a tie in the first game while Rochester won the second. Peter Ciavaglia is the only Rochester player in the league's top 20 in points. Rochester and Baltimore rank Nos. 3-4 in the AHL in converting power-play opportunities.

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