The Halifax Citadels spoiled Baltimore's chance to gain ground in the American Hockey League's Southern Division by beating the Skipjacks, 5-4, at the Baltimore Arena last night.
Bruce Major and Marc Fortier each scored two goals for Halifax, which has won all three games from Baltimore this season.
Edmonton Oilers goalie Grant Fuhr, recently reinstated by National Hockey League president John Ziegler from a year's drug suspension, played his first game -- in the AHL -- last night and helped the Cape Breton Oilers, Edmonton's top farm club, to a 5-3 victory over the Rochester Americans in Sydney, Nova Scotia. First-place Rochester holds a five-point lead over the Skipjacks.
Goalie Scott Gordon, a former Skipjack who was sent to Halifax by the Quebec Nordiques yesterday, made 32 saves in the game here.
Alfie Turcotte scored three goals for Baltimore and handed out an assist, and Mark Ferner had three assists. Thomas Sjogren also scored for the Skipjacks.
The teams entered the third period tied at 3, but a pair of goals in 58 seconds gave Halifax the lead. Major, acquired from the Fort Wayne Komets of the International Hockey League yesterday, scored his second goal of the game on a pass from Mario Doyon at 6 minutes, 13 seconds.
Fortier, scoring his second goal of the game, gave the Citadels a two-goal lead, burying the rebound of a shot by Shane Redshaw at 7:11.
Turcotte, completing a hat trick, scored his second power-play goal of the game and his 25th goal of the season, cutting the difference to 5-4 at 12:50 with a shot from the right circle.
Baltimore coach Rob Laird pulled goalie Olaf Kolzig with 52 seconds remaining to get an extra attacker on the ice, but the Skipjacks could not get the equalizer despite several excellent opportunities.
Turcotte first goal, scored after a nifty move on Gordon, gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead at 10:30 of the first period.
Jamie Baker won the ensuing face-off for Halifax, and Mario Doyon slapped a shot from the blue line between Kolzig's pads to tie the score six seconds later.
Baltimore regained the lead at 15:02 when Sjogren scored from the left circle during a power play.
Fortier's goal on a shot from the left circle at 3:08 of the second period again tied the score at 2. The Citadels took the lead, 3-2, at 11:51 on Major's goal from the slot after Skipjacks defenseman Jiri Vykoukal gave up the puck in the left circle.
Turcotte got the Skipjacks even with a power-play goal at 14:15. Turcotte lifted the rebound of a shot by Ferner over Gordon.
NOTES: Loyola High defeated Georgetown Prep, 4-2, in a preliminary game. . . . The Skipjacks were without G Jim Hrivnak, who was serving a one-game suspension; RW Tim Bergland and RW Reggie Savage, both on recall with Washington; and D Kent Paynter (ankle), D Chris Felix (ankle), D Bobby Babcock (ankle), RW Jeff Greenlaw (ankle) and C Victor Gervais (back), all injured. Kolzig has been recalled from Hampton Roads of the ECHL to replace Hrivnak. . . . General manager David Poile and director of player personnel Jack Button led a Capitals delegation at the game. Among the scouts on hand were Paul Gardner of the Capitals, Marcel Pelletier of the Boston Bruins and Gord Lane of the New York Islanders.