Capitals, Skipjacks drop exhibition doubleheader Players show plenty of fight in losses


So much for being the hosts.

Neither the Baltimore Skipjacks nor the Washington Capitals could come up with a victory last night at the Baltimore Arena in the organization's third annual exhibition doubleheader with the Philadelphia Flyers and the Hershey Bears.

Despite the pair of losses -- the Jacks fell, 5-4, to the Bears and the Caps were stopped by the Flyers, 4-1, in the nightcap -- the organization's brass got a good look at some of their young players' strengths and weaknesses.

The Jacks, in particular, took center stage, because many Caps starters didn't dress.

The Capitals scratched Rod Langway, Dimitri Khristich, Kelly Miller, Mike Ridley, Randy Burridge, John Druce, Al Iafrate and John Slaney, and started Skipjacks prospects Jim Mathieson, John Purves, Craig Duncanson and Simon Wheeldon.

"That's what exhibition games are all about -- evaluating and conditioning all the players in our organization," said Caps coach Terry Murray. "We want to make the right decisions about where the players fit in."

Murray criticized Capitals goalie Jim Hrivnak for allowing a pair of "soft goals" and perhaps slacking off because of the holdout of Don Beaupre.

"Maybe with Beaupre not here he thinks it's an automatic [to make the team]," Murray said.

Hrivnak, who made 15 saves on 19 shots, said he didn't think any of the goals were bad, "but it wasn't my best game of training camp. I want to deserve a spot on the team. I don't want to get it because no one else is here."

Jacks coach Rob Laird had 11 rookies in the lineup, many nTC fighting for jobs in the AHL. Several likely will be reassigned to the Hampton Roads Admirals of the East Coast Hockey League or released after Tuesday's rematch with the Bears in Hershey.

The fighting attitude spilled onto the ice. The second period of the Jacks-Bears game featured 72 penalty minutes and six game misconducts.

"We've got guys every year who come into this game looking for a job," said Laird. "The main thing I was looking for was competitiveness, and I got it."

The Jacks, however, looked better with their fists than with their sticks. The Bears wasted no time in jumping on Baltimore, grabbing a 2-0 lead on goals from Bill Armstrong and Darren Rumble.

The Jacks were outshot, 15-3, in the first period and never seemed to recover.

In the second period, one feisty newcomer, left wing Trevor Halverson, the Caps' second pick in the June entry draft, drew a double-game misconduct as well as a bloody lip in a fight with Mike Stothers.

"I don't have a job yet, so I'm going to do whatever it takes," Halverson said. "I have to show I can play both games in this league. I can produce goals, and I'm not afraid to mix it up."

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