Indians tie Skipjacks in final seconds

February 27, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

Eric Murano scored a hat trick for the Skipjacks. Trouble was, the Springfield Indians' Mike Tomlak matched it.

The result was a 4-4 tie last night at the Baltimore Arena. For Murano, it was his first hat trick of the season and the team's sixth.

Murano's third goal broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period after a scoreless second period. After Tomlak tied it again at 3, Darren McAusland put Baltimore ahead.

But Tomlak scored his third goal with eight seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

Murano arrived in a trade from the Vancouver Canucks' Hamilton minor-league team Jan. 29 for Tim Taylor. He has six goals in 12 games with the Skipjacks, 31 for the season.

The crowd of 5,708 was the Skipjacks' third-largest of the year. Four of the top five crowds have been in the past six weeks.

Baltimore coach Barry Trotz said he started Byron Dafoe on "a hunch." Although Dafoe absorbed a 6-2 loss at Hershey on Wednesday, he had the Skipjacks' first shutout of the season in last Sunday's game against the Halifax Citadels.

Just as important, he was undefeated in three starts over two seasons against Springfield. Backup goalie Duane Derksen is 0-2 with a 6.03 goals-against average against the Indians this season.

Dafoe had 26 saves last night but one he failed to make really bothered him.

Of Tomlak's goal that slipped by him with eight seconds left, Dafoe said, "That hurt. Really hurt. I'll dream about that one."

The tie left Springfield unbeaten in its last seven games, all with NHL veteran Mario Gosselin in the goal. The Skipjacks are 3-6-2 in their last 11.

"We did a lot of good things," said Trotz. "We were facing the hottest team in the AHL, one that's undefeated in its last seven. I'm disappointed with that goal with eight seconds left, but these kids -- and they are kids -- played well."

After Tomlak's game-opening goal for Springfield, Murano came back 18 seconds later to tie it.

Murano made it two straight and gave the Skipjacks a 2-1 lead midway through the period but Chris Govedaris scored his team-high 12th power-play goal with 1:57 left to tie it at 2.

For the second straight game, the Skipjacks were without John Byce, their points leader with 62, who dislocated a shoulder last Sunday against Halifax. He probably won't return for three or four weeks.

"Originally, we didn't think it was this bad," Trotz said. "We'll just carry on. Score more by committee."

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