Rangers rally to beat outmanned Jacks, 4-1 Binghamton 8-0-2 against Baltimore

March 13, 1993|By Paul Stuart | Paul Stuart,Contributing Writer

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz wouldn't mind playing the AHL Southern Division champion Binghamton Rangers in the first round of the playoffs -- even after the Rangers defeated the Skipjacks, 4-1, last night to improve their season record to 8-0-2 against Baltimore.

Trotz would just like a chance to play the Rangers (45-10-8) with a full lineup. Injuries and recalls have hurt the Skipjacks, who managed to hold onto their four-point lead over Hershey for the final playoff spot in the Southern Division. Jeff Greenlaw might be added to the injury list. He was struck in the temple by a slap shot in the third period and will be evaluated today.

"I'd like to play this team with a healthy team," Trotz said. "I don't know how it would go, but I think the fans would be treated to a good series."

Brian McReynolds and Rob Kenny scored goals 42 seconds apart at the end of the second period to give Binghamton a 3-1 lead. Don Biggs scored his 44th goal on a power play 29 seconds into the third to give the Rangers a three-goal edge and, eventually, the Southern Division title when Rochester lost to Hamilton last night, 5-4.

Down 1-0, the Rangers scored three unanswered goals in the second period to take a 3-1 lead.

Kenny, a checking line left wing, had two. Kenny tied the game at 2:42. After battling for the puck in the corner on his knees and without his stick, he got the puck to Rick Bennett and recovered to one-time the return pass into an open net.

McReynolds banged home a deflected puck on a power play with 3:11 left in the period to give Binghamton a 2-1 lead. Until that point, the Skipjacks' penalty-killing unit -- ranked last in the AHL -- and goalie Byron Dafoe held off the Rangers' second-ranked power play three times.

"That was it," Trotz said. "We killed off the penalties when most of our penalty-killers were on the shelf."

Kenny made it 3-1 when he scored 42 seconds later.

It was a tough deficit for the Skipjacks, who came into the game with a 0-24-5 record when trailing after two periods. The Rangers were 39-2-1 when leading after two.

Eric Murano gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead, scoring his 32nd goal of the season on a power play with 13 seconds remaining in the first period. Jason Woolley drew two Rangers to the left point and passed to Mike Boback along the boards. Boback cut to the slot as Binghamton's Mike Hurlbut went down to block a shot. But Boback held on and backhanded a pass to Murano, who was all alone in front of the goal.

It marked the first time this season that the Skipjacks scored the first goal against the Rangers.

After the game, the Skipjacks were to head home to Baltimore for back-to-back games with Providence today and tomorrow. The predicted strong winter storm was projected to hit the Binghamton area sometime this afternoon with projections of a possible 1 to 2 feet of snow. The Adirondack-Rochester game scheduled for tonight in Glens Falls was postponed, tentatively to March 24.

Skipjacks tonight

Opponent: Providence Bruins

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 1

Tickets: Many available

Outlook: Providence, which has clinched the Northern Division regular-season title, leads the AHL in points and goals. Both teams feature candidates for league rookie honors. The Bruins' Jozef Stumpel leads AHL rookies in points and Sergei Zholtok is in the top 10. The Skipjacks have Mike Boback and John Slaney in the top 10. The Skipjacks are last in the 16-team AHL in penalty-killing; Providence is fourth.

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