Savage's goal 2:31 into overtime lifts Skipjacks over Bears, 2-1


Reggie Savage's goal at 2 minutes, 31 seconds of overtime gave the Baltimore Skipjacks a 2-1 victory over the Hershey Bears last night at Baltimore Arena.

Savage, scoring his 16th goal of the season, knocked the rebound of a shot from the left circle by Todd Hlushko past goalie Marc D'Amour. Savage, standing just off the right goal post, batted the loose puck into the cage for the game-winner.

"It was lucky, but I'll take it," said Savage who has five goals and two assists in three games against the Bears this season. "Todd came out of the corner into the circle and just tried to put the puck on goal. I was standing around the crease and the puck came right on my stick, and all I did was put it in the net.

"I don't try any harder against Hershey. It just seems I do well against them. I'm just out there trying to win games, and if I score, all the better."

The victory was Baltimore's third in a row and its fifth in its past six home games. The Skipjacks completed a stretch of seven games (five on the road) in 10 days last night and got nine of a possible 14 points.

"When we started this stretch, I said I'd be happy if we played .500 hockey," said Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "Getting nine points is just great. We were tired, playing our third game in three nights and just getting back from 15 hours on the bus. But we had enough energy to pull out the win in overtime.

"Savage and Hlushko have been great for us the last several games, and one of the main reasons they are able to continue to do the job is that they are in such great shape. Also, our goaltending has been great. Jimmy [Hrivnak] was super in the goal once again. He kept us in the game with some very big saves."

Hrivnak, winning his fourth game of the season, made 26 saves, including 17 in the third period.

"We played well," said Hrivnak. "We got the goals we needed and played great defense. No, I don't think I'm on a roll. I'm just playing the way I always do."

Jay Snider, president of the Philadelphia Flyers, Hershey's NHL parent club, talked to Bears coach Mike Eaves for about 20 minutes after the game.

"He just talked about our boys in Hershey," said Eaves. "He hadn't seen us all season and wanted to get a look at our team. We did not discuss any coaching changes in Philly."

The win enabled the Skipjacks to increase their lead in the AHL Southern Division to four points over the idle Utica Devils. Baltimore is 2-0-1 with Hershey, which is third in the Southern Division, six points behind the Skipjacks.

Baltimore killed off one power play last night and has killed off 22 penalties in four games.

Baltimore took a 1-0 lead at 18:30 of the first period on Hlushko's goal off a feed from Savage. Hershey tied the score on Pat Murray's deflection of a shot by Al Conroy 14 seconds into the third period.

With less than four minutes remaining in regulation, D'Amour stopped Bobby Reynolds on a breakaway with a stick save to preserve the tie.

NOTES: RW Jeff Greenlaw has been recalled by the Capitals. Reynolds (knee) and D Bobby Babcock (hand) were back in action for the Skipjacks. LW Steve Seftel (knee), RW Richie Walcott (jaw) and RW Steve Martell (leg) missed the game. . . . The Flyers have recalled G Dominic Roussel, C Martin Hostak and LW Claude Boivin from the Bears and sent LW Chris Jensen to Hershey. The Bears have recalled G Ray Letourneau from ECHL Roanoke. LW Bill Armstrong (back) and D Toni Porkka (foot) missed the game. . . . John D'Amico, NHL supervisor of officials, was at last night's game.

Hershey .. ..0 0 1 0 -- 1

Baltimore .. 0 1 0 1 -- 2

First period: none. Penalties: Vykoukal, Bal (high-sticking), 8:20; Simpson, Her (holding), 15:56.

Second period: 1. Baltimore, Hlushko 8 (Savage), 18:30. Penalties: Simpson, Her double-minor (tripping and unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:51; Dandenault, Her (interference), 14:02.

Third period: 2. Hershey, Murray 5 (Conroy), 0:14. Penalties: Kushner, Her (slashing), 9:34; Purves, Bal (slashing), 9:34.

Overtime: 3. Baltimore, Savage (Hlushko, Farner), 2:31. Penalties: none.

Shots on goal: Hershey 6-4-17-0-27. Baltimore 5-6-8-1-20. Power-play opportunities: Hershey 0 of 1. Baltimore 0 of 4. Goalies: Hershey, D'Amour 3-3-1 (20 shots, 18 saves). Baltimore, Hrivnak 5-2-1 (27-26). Att: 2,702. Referee: Blaine Angus. Linesmen: Gary Madsen, Brett Parson.

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