The Baltimore Skipjacks' largest crowd of the season -- 9,29 -- went home disappointed last night, as the Cape Breton Oilers outlasted Baltimore, 8-6, in an American Hockey League game at the Baltimore Arena.
The loss ended Baltimore's five-game unbeaten streak. The Skipjacks, however, remained in third place in the AHL's Southern Division.
The crowd, the third-largest in Skipjacks history, witnessed an offensive shootout. Greg Hawgood scored two goals for the Oilers, and Tyler Larter scored twice for Baltimore. Alfie Turcotte had three assists for the Skipjacks.
The game was a wild one from the start.
Cape Breton built a 6-5 lead after two periods and went up, 7-5, at 3 minutes, 12 seconds of the third period on Trevor Sim's goal. Baltimore quickly cut the lead back to one as Larter scored his second goal of the game at 4:31.
The Skipjacks had many excellent opportunities to tie the score, but Reddick hung tough in the Oilers goal.
Baltimore pulled goalie Jim Hrivnak with 1:27 remaining and Cape Breton's Tomas Kapusta scored into an empty net with 42 seconds remaining.
Cape Breton, capitalizing on a Baltimore turnover in its zone, took a 1-0 lead at 2:54 of the first period on Hawgood's first goal. Hawgood intercepted Ferner's clearing attempt at the top of the right circle, cut across the slot and beat Hrivnak with a wrist shot.
The Oilers went up, 2-0, at 7:37 of the first period, as Max Middendorf scored on a shot from just inside the blue line that found its way under Hrivnak's pad.
Reggie Savage cut the Oilers' lead in half at 13:55 when he ripped a slap shot from the top of the left circle through Reddick's pads during a power play.
Larter tied the game at 2-2 with his slap shot from 30 feet out in the slot at 17:28. However, Cape Breton regained the lead with 53 seconds remaining in the first period on Tomas Srsen's shot from the right circle that got between Hrivnak's leg pad and the goal post.
Reddick got his glove on Todd Hlushko's shot from just inside the blue line, but could not control the puck. It bounced over his shoulder and into the net to make it a 3-3 game early in the second period.
The Oilers didn't wait long to respond. Igor Viazmikin and Shjon Podein scored 71 seconds apart to give Cape Breton a 5-3 advantage.
The scoring onslaught continued John Purves scored at 14:44 to cut the lead to 5-4, and Hawgood answered with his second goal of the game to give Cape Breton a 6-4 lead. Rob Murray, converting a perfect feed from Bobby Reynolds at 15:44 got the Jacks back within one goal at the end of the second period.
NOTES: LW Steve Seftel missed last night's game with a broken finger. He is expected to be out about a week. . . . RW Jeff Greenlaw is still on recall with the Washington Capitals, and the Capitals returned RW Savage to Baltimore . . . LW Bob Joyce, who had been out with concussion, also returned to action . . . D Chris Felix, who has been out with a broken leg, has been skating and hopes to available to play the last week of the regular season.
Cape Breton 3 3 2 -- 8
Baltimore 2 3 1 -- 6
First period--1. Cape Breton, Hawgood 9, 2:54; 2. Cape Breton, Middendorf 14 ( Viazmikin), 7:37; 3. Baltimore, Savage 28 (Turcotte), pp, 13:55; 4. Baltimore, Larter 18 (Turcotte), 17:28; 5. Cape Breton, Srsen 28 (Bauer, Kapusta), 19:07. Penalties--C. Foster, C.B. (interference), 4:16; Currie, C.B., double-minor ( hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:24.
Second period--6. Baltimore, Hlushko 9 (Quenneville), 4:11; 7. Cape Breton, Viazmikin 11 (C. Foster), 6:20; 9. Baltimore, Purves 16 (Turcotte, Maltais), 14:44; 10. Cape Breton, Hawgood 10 (Srsen), 15:01; 11. Baltimore, Murray 5 (Reynolds), 15:44. Penalties--Ferner, Bal major (elbowing), 8:46.
Third period--12. Cape Breton, Sim 15 (Viazmikin, Reddick), 3:12; 13. Baltimore, Larter 19 (Murray), 4:31; 14. Cape Breton, Kapusta, en, 19:18. Penalties--Murray, Bal (elbowing), 5:01; Middendorf, C.B. (elbowing), 5:31; Bauer, C.B. ( hooking), 11:53.
Shots on goal--Cape Breton 6-14-5-25. Baltimore 15-10-22-47. Power-play opportunities--Cape Breton 0 of 4. Baltimore 1 of 5. Goalies--Cape Breton, Reddick 16-10-0 (47 shots, 41 saves). Baltimore, Hrivnak 18-13-5 (24 shots, 17 saves). A--9,293. Referee--Kevin Muench. Linesmen--Matt Dunne, Rich Zerbe.