Jacks stall in 5-4 loss to Hawks

April 05, 1993|By Gerry McLaughlin | Gerry McLaughlin,Contributing Writer

MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK -- Playing their seventh game on a 10-day road trip, the Baltimore Skipjacks grabbed an early 3-1 lead but ran out of gas, losing 5-4 to the Moncton Hawks in an American Hockey League game yesterday.

Jason Wooley and John Slaney sandwiched Skipjacks goals around one by Ken Gernander to give Baltimore a 2-1 lead after the first period.

Eric Murano scored on Baltimore's first shot of the second period at 1:34, putting the Skipjacks ahead 3-1, but it was all down hill after that.

The Skipjacks managed one more shot it the second period and got just seven in the third. They were outshot 28-15 on the night.

A goal by former Skipjack Bob Joyce at 10:44 of the third period was the winner for the Hawks. Gernander chipped in with a pair for the winners, and Russ Romaniuk and Kris Draper got a goal each. John Byce had the Skipjacks' fourth goal.

"This was one of those games where the score didn't really indicate the play," said Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz.

"Moncton had more jump, more focus, and more legs than we did. Seven games in ten nights has taken its toll."

However, Trotz wasn't disappointed that the Skipjacks, who dropped to 27-38-12, are coming home with a 3-4 road record.

"It wasn't that bad. We would have liked to win here today, to get a little edge on Hershey, but it was a big game for Moncton, too, and they had more to offer."

The victory, Moncton's second in three days at home, improved its overall home record to 17-16-5, the first time this year it has been over .500.

Even more important for the Hawks was that the victory allowed them to remain four points ahead of the fifth-place Halifax Citadels for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.

The Hawks have a 29-31-16 record for 74 points. Halifax (33-6-10) kept pace with Moncton with a 7-4 road victory over the Hamilton Canucks yesterday afternoon.

"We deserved to win this game. We were frustrated at falling behind, but we didn't let it bother us. We didn't stop working," said Hawks coach Robbie Laird, whose club completely dominated the Skipjacks in the second period. Laird, a former Skipjacks coach, said revenge was never a factor.

"We have to make the playoffs. Our only focus is to play well," said Laird, who was fired midway through last season and replaced by Trotz.

Although the Hawks outshot the Skipjacks and were playing well, Gernander admitted they had a nervous feeling the entire game.

"We felt good. We were putting the effort into every shift, but you never know. Anything can happen in a hockey game," said the Hawks' center, whose two goals gave him 16 for the season.

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