Skipjacks skate circles around weary Hamilton Pearce scores twice in 5-1 home victory

February 15, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

The Skipjacks caught the Hamilton Canucks with a severe case of tired legs.

The Canucks, one of the AHL's hottest teams but playing their third road game in as many nights, skated listlessly through a 5-1 loss to the Skipjacks last night before 2,372 at the Baltimore Arena.

Randy Pearce, in his fifth game since being promoted from the Hampton Roads Admirals of the East Coast Hockey League, scored two goals, his fourth and fifth. Another ex-Admiral, Rod Taylor, had a goal and an assist.

Taylor, Steve Poapst and Brian Martin were playing in their ninth game in 10 days. All three played Saturday night for Hampton at Richmond after playing in their first game for the Skipjacks here Friday.

Goalie Duane Derksen, also up from Hampton, made 30 saves and raised his record to 2-2-0 since his return.

"The big thing is confidence," said Derksen, who spent more two months with Hampton. "It helps when you have confidence in your teammates and they have confidence in you."

Said coach Barry Trotz: "Duane only had four or five difficult stops, but he was in control the whole game. He challenged the shooters."

Entering the third period with a 3-1 lead, the Skipjacks continued to hold off Hamilton while adding goals by Martin Jiranek and Pearce, his second.

Hamilton, though last in the AHL's Southern Division, had won four straight and seven of its past 10. The Canucks beat the Skipjacks on Friday and the Hershey Bears on Saturday.

By losing, Hamilton squandered a chance to move out of last place into sixth ahead of Hershey. The Bears lost to Springfield last night, 3-2, and are still a point ahead of the Canucks.

The uneventful first period was devoid of penalties and included only one goal, Skipjack Jeff Nelson's 10th of the season with 1:39 remaining.

Bob Mason, stingy against Baltimore Friday night in Hamilton's victory, made six saves. The Canucks came into last night's game 3-19-2 in games in which Mason hadn't played.

Derksen had 10 saves in the first period. He started in place of Byron Dafoe after relieving the regular goalie after two periods Friday night and allowing one goal.

"Duane and Byron will split time unless one is hot," Trotz said before the game. "I'm looking for someone to get hot and no one has."

The Skipjacks jumped to a 3-0 lead in the second period. Taylor scored his first goal in a Baltimore uniform and Pearce got his fourth before Rick Vaive put Hamilton on the board.

NOTES: Skipjacks D Jim Mathieson has missed two games and will be out an additional week or two with a strained back. . . . D John Blessman, summoned last week from the West Palm Beach Blaze of the Sun Coast League, arrived but did not dress last night. "He has skated only twice in the last three weeks," Trotz said. "We have to whip him into playing shape." . . . RW Jeff Greenlaw, who has missed five games with a torn thumb ligament, may return as soon as Wednesday for the road game against the Providence Bruins if he can be outfitted with a playing cast. . . . The Skipjacks will return from Providence to entertain the Fredericton Canadiens Friday and the Halifax Citadels Sunday. . . . Brad Schlegel is the team's new captain (in place of injured Mark Hunter), with John Byce and Eric Murano as assistants. . . . Mike Boback, who has scored 54 points this season but has missed the past four games with a torn knee ligament, may return as soon as Friday for the Fredericton game. No matter how much he plays the rest of the way, he faces knee surgery after the season. . . . In a pro sports rarity, F Darren Schwartz of the Wheeling (W.Va.) Thunderbirds of the East Coast Hockey League declined the Capitals' invitation last week to join the Skipjacks. Schwartz, who scored his 50th goal Thursday, thus gave up a look by the Capitals and an increase in pay by playing in the AHL.

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