NEWMARKET, Ontario -- The Baltimore Skipjacks had the Newmarket Saints exactly where they wanted them last night, but that didn't make it any easier. The Skipjacks carried a 2-0 lead into the third period and held on for a 2-1 American Hockey League victory before 2,997 at the Newmarket Recreation Complex.
The Saints were 0-29-1 when trailing entering the third period and, although that didn't change, the home site made it interesting. Some clutch goaltending by Jim Hrivnak, who made 30 saves, led Baltimore to its fourth-straight victory and sole possession of second place in the Southern Division.
"We have been getting good goaltending from Jim [Hrivnak]," said Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "He kept us in the first period until we were able to adjust and come out strong in the second. We have won four in a row, and Hrivnak is the big reason."
Hrivnak's best save of the night was against Mike Stevens in the third period, just two minutes after the left wing had halved Baltimore's lead with a power-play goal at 5 minutes, 11 seconds. Stevens cut in alone on the right wing, only to be stopped by the falling goalie.
"I just went down, and he hit my glove," said Hrivnak. "I was lucky because it was a good shot."
After a scoreless first, in which Newmarket had an 11-4 advantage in shots, the Skipjacks opened the scoring at 1:30 when a backhand by John Purves glanced in off a Newmarket defender's skate and over the catching glove of goalie Damien Rhodes. Steve Seftel redirected a point shot from Mark Ferner on a Baltimore power play at 13:07 for a 2-0 lead.
"It's been a long road trip, and the boys are kind of tired," Hrivnak said. "I've played good periods, and they have played good periods for me. Tonight they cleared all the rebounds and made it easy.