Great trip gets better for Jacks


Even if the Skipjacks had lost in Springfield, Mass., last night they wouldn't have come home losers.

Even if they had fallen flat on their faces, which they appeared to be doing in the first period, behind by a pair of goals, Jacks coach Robbie Laird would have come back to Baltimore with a smile.

But, as they have done so well during the past week, the road-weary Jacks fought back against the Northern Division leaders, getting a goal from defenseman Joel Quenneville with 8:53 remaining to earn a 5-5 tie.

"We got nine out of 10 points on this trip," Laird said. "I'm not happy, I'm ecstatic. Five games in seven nights, 3,300 miles on the bus and we're back in second place. It's been an incredible week and I just hope we can keep it going."

The Jacks (36-29-6) left a week ago with their playoff hopes in question. They return today tied for second place with Binghamton (36-28-6) with 78 points.

"We've over the tough part of the schedule and we have some confidence coming home," Laird said. "All we need now is rest. We'll take off until tomorrow night."

Tomorrow night the Jacks play their first of two with Cape Breton (7:30, WLIF-AM 1300). There are nine games remaining on the schedule, five of which are at the Arena.

Last night against the high-scoring Indians, the entire team seemed to be fatigued, forcing goalie Jim Hrivnak to work harder.

"I can't fault anybody, especially Jimmy," Laird said. "Jimmy didn't have his best game, but he has shined throughout the whole trip. It never should have gotten to the point where there was so much pressure on him. The mistakes we made were team mistakes."

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