Derksen's 34 saves help Jacks nip Canadiens, 3-2 Lead over Bears grows to 3 points

March 31, 1993|By Bill Hunt | Bill Hunt,Contributing Writer

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick -- Duane Derksen saved the Baltimore Skipjacks from sinking last night.

Derksen, the rookie goaltender out of the University of Wisconsin, turned aside 34 Fredericton Canadiens shots to lift the Jacks to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory before 3,587 fans here last night.

Derksen's goaltending and John Byce's goal with five minutes left in regulation helped the Jacks win their ninth on the road.

Trevor Halverson and Jeff Nelson scored the other goals for the Skipjacks. Tim Chase and Pierre Sevigny scored for the Canadiens.

The victory gives the Jacks a three-point cushion on the fifth-place Hershey Bears in the Southern Division playoff chase, and they hold a game in hand on the Bears.

The Jacks have six games left in the regular season, and the Bears are down to five.

Baltimore was outshot 37-22, but worked hard and was opportunistic.

The teams battled through a scoreless first period that was interrupted by one penalty. The Canadiens had the better of the scoring chances, but Derksen was sharp in turning away quality opportunities from the slot by Patrik Carnback, Yves Sarault and Darcy Simon.

The Jacks' best opportunity didn't even result in a shot on goal. Jeff Greenlaw broke down three on one only to be ridden heavily into the boards by Simon and out of danger.

It was the Jacks' last opportunity for a while. They had seven zTC shots on goal in the first period and didn't get their eighth until the second period was eight minutes old, and that one was a harmless shot from just inside the blue line.

It was another three minutes before they got the second, but that one was a goal. Halverson stripped the puck from Canadiens defenseman Steve Veilleux inside the blue line and tucked one inside the goal post on the blocker side 10:58 into the period.

Derksen, meanwhile, was turning away everything the Canadiens sent his way until Chase surprised him, pinching in from the right point, carrying the puck around the net and tucking it inside the left post for his second goal of the season at 14:31.

That's all the Canadiens could get past him, though, despite a huge disparity territorially -- as a 15-5 shots on goal advantage in the second period might suggest.

Derksen couldn't hold the Canadiens back forever, though. The Canadiens took a 2-1 lead early in the third period, when Ed Ronan, playing his second game since returning from the parent Montreal Canadiens, stole the puck from center Jeff Nelson deep in the zone and whipped a backhanded pass across the crease to Sevigny, who rapped it in for his 34th goal of the season.

Nelson would make up for it a few minutes later, converting Martin Gendron's pass on a three-on-one past Les Kuntar at 8:04 to tie it up again.

The Jacks regained the lead with five minutes left in regulation, with Byce stealing the puck from Simon and sticking it under the crossbar behind Kuntar.

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