Oilers bank on fast start to defeat Skipjacks, 8-5 Trotz blames poor goaltending

March 29, 1993|By Russ Doyle | Russ Doyle,Contributing Writer

SYDNEY, Nova Scotia -- The Cape Breton Oilers struck early and often at Centre 200 last night en route to an 8-5 win over Baltimore Skipjacks that clinched them a berth in the American Hockey League's Atlantic Division playoff round.

The Oilers built a 4-2 lead in the first period, held on to take a 5-4 lead after the second period and sealed the victory with a 3-1 scoring edge in the third that included an empty-net goal by wing Kirk Maltby with one second left.

Hard-driving Dan Currie pumped the Oilers up with a hat trick in the first period.

His three goals raised his season total to 53.

Currie's scoring was aided by goals by Richard Borgo, Craig Fisher, Scott Thornton and Maltby.

Martin Jiranek had two of the Baltimore goals.

The others were scored by Chris Longo, Jason Woolley and Jeff Greenlaw.

"Goaltending was the difference," Baltimore coach Barry Trotz said. "They got some, and we didn't get any."

Trotz started Byron Dafoe, but he didn't get past the 13:18 mark of the first period, as the Oilers scored three goals on five shots.

Duane Derksen was inserted, and he didn't fare much better. He gave up Currie's third goal on the first shot against him.

The Skipjacks managed to stay close with goals from Jiranek and Longo.

Longo scored with 19 seconds left in the period.

The visitors appeared to take heart when they scored two goals in the first 2:40 of the second period.

Greenlaw connected after 30 seconds, and Wooley tied the score at 4 with his unassisted goal at 2:40.

The Oilers took a 5-4 edge when Thornton scored his 19th at 11:23.

Trotz did not use injuries as an excuse, despite the fact that some of his key players sat on the bench with an assortment of ailments.

"It would be too easy to use that as an excuse," he said. "But, that's just not the case.

"We have to learn how to win on the road, and that takes commitment from whatever players we have in our lineup."

Meanwhile, Oilers coach George Burnett was content with the victory.

"We're building on the good effort we gave in our last two games," he said, while expressing satisfaction that his team is assured of a playoff spot.

"The guys worked pretty hard out there tonight," he said.

"I'm happy they were able to get some goals, and I'm just as happy that our goaltender [rookie Andrew Verner] played well again."

The Oilers' record improved to 34-27-11.

Baltimore slipped to 25-36-12, which leaves it fourth in the Southern Division standings.

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