Rangers bring down Skipjacks in OT, 4-3 Binghamton rallies for 3-2 series lead

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

In the end, the Binghamton Rangers' depth and size wore down the Skipjacks.

Jean Yves-Roy's goal 11:15 into overtime gave Binghamton a 4-3 victory last night at the Baltimore Arena in their AHL Southern Division playoff series.

From 35 feet out, Yves-Roy rifled the puck over Baltimore goalie Duane Derksen's right shoulder, sending Binghamton to a three-games-to-two lead in the best-of-seven series.

"The longer it went, the better their chances," Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz said. "I have a shorter bench -- four or five defensemen to their six. They're bigger; we just wore down."

Yves-Roy's goal ended a stretch of 31 minutes, 25 seconds during which neither team scored. The Rangers' Craig Duncanson scored the goal that tied it at 3 with 10 seconds left in the second period.

"Dunc's goal was the turning point," Trotz said. "You hate to give one up at the end of a period."

The Skipjacks were outshot, 44-21. Derksen had 40 saves to Ranger goalie Corey Hirsch's 18.

"Binghamton has people who like to throw the puck at the net all the time," Trotz said. "We had our chances, but they hit the shot in OT."

The teams now head for Binghamton for Game 6 tomorrow night and, if necessary, Game 7 Friday night.

The game was the Skipjacks' 464th -- and possibly last -- at the Arena. Only if they win the series and advance to the next round will they play again here before the franchise is moved to Portland, Maine, for next season.

Attendance dropped in each of the three playoff games at the Arena, from 1,653 Friday to 1,458 Saturday to 1,174 last night.

For the second straight game, and third in the series, the Skipjacks played the favored Rangers on even terms. Binghamton, which set an AHL record with 57 regular-season wins, handled the Skipjacks easily in Games 2 and 3.

The Skipjacks inched out to a 1-0 lead 2:06 into the game on Mike Boback's goal. It was the second in two games for Boback, who finished the regular season tied with John Byce and Eric Murano in points with 79.

Only 11 of Boback's points during the season were goals. His goal in Saturday night's victory was his first since Feb. 21.

In the second period, the Skipjacks increased their lead to 2-0 on Jeff Greenlaw's goal.

After Binghamton's Mike Stevens coughed up the puck, the Skipjacks launched a three-on-one breakaway, with Greenlaw finishing with a shot into the upper right corner.

In a flash, the score was tied. Sergei Zubov and Steven King scored within 1:19.

Mark Hunter's goal gave Baltimore a 3-2 lead, but former Skipjack Duncanson backhanded a shot past Derksen with 10 seconds remaining to tie it at 3.

NOTES: Skipjacks D Jim Mathieson is out for two weeks with a concussion sustained Saturday night when Binghamton's Alexei Kovalev hit him from behind in the first period and drew a boarding penalty. Kovalev is the same player who caused Hunter to miss 26 games with a fractured thumb after a vicious hit with his stick Jan. 30. Hunter didn't return until April 2. . . . Hunter, who had 18 career goals in NHL playoff action, scored his first AHL playoff goal Saturday night. . . . Hunter, the Skipjacks' captain, presented a plaque before the game to Bill Zinkhan in recognition of his 30 years of dedication to Baltimore hockey as an assistant in the locker room. Zinkhan is retiring. . . . If the Skipjacks win the series from Binghamton, their best-of-seven set in the next round against the Rochester Americans will start at the Baltimore Arena Saturday (if the Binghamton series ends tomorrow night) or next Monday (if it ends Friday night). The Americans won their Southern Division semifinal over the Utica Devils with four straight wins after dropping the opener. . . . The game, or games, in Binghamton will be carried by WTMD (89.7 FM) with Brian Hamilton and Skipjacks owner Tom Ebright providing the commentary. WTMB is covering road games only.

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