The Baltimore Skipjacks found out last night that they can beat the Hershey Bears.
After going five games without a win over the Bears, the Skipjacks struck with a vengeance before 5,079 at the Baltimore Arena to score a 7-4 AHL Southern Division victory.
Bobby Reynolds, John Purves and Jim Hrivnak were keys to the victory, which ended Baltimore's three-game losing streak. Reynolds had two goals and two assists, Purves had two goals and three assists, and Hrivnak made 31 saves and also had an assist.
"We mixed up the lines in practice this week, and the new matchups seemed to help, especially ours," said Purves, who skated on a line with Reynolds and Todd Hlushko. "I really didn't think we played that poorly in the games we lost. We just got some bad bounces. We worked hard in practice, and it paid off with a win."
Simon Wheeldon, Ken Lovsin and Reggie Savage also scored for Baltimore, and Savage had a goal that was disallowed for interfering with Hershey goalie Ray Latourneau. Hlushko handed out three assists.
"We played with a lot of intensity," said Skipjacks coach Rob Laird. "The last game with Hershey [a 6-5 loss last Saturday after Baltimore led, 5-2, in the final period] was on our minds, and it should have been. We played responsible hockey. All 11 forwards and our defense did a splendid job. We got a lot of production out of the Reynolds line [four goals and eight assists].
"We want to use this game to turn our season series around with Hershey [the Bears lead, 4-3-2]. Hopefully, this will be a turning point for us. Every game lately has been a battle. This was an exciting game, a good one for our fans to see. We did a lot of little things right."
Wes Walz scored twice for the Bears, and Martin Hostak and Dale Kushner had single goals.
"We fell short of what we wanted to do," said Hershey coach Mike Eaves. "Baltimore was simply a better team tonight, and they beat us."
The Skipjacks scored two goals in each of the first two periods and three at the start of the third to take a 7-2 lead. Hershey scored two meaningless goals in the final three minutes.
NOTES: In a collegiate preliminary game, Maryland defeated Towson State, 5-4. . . . Dick Bosman, Orioles pitching coach, dropped the first puck. . . . Among the notables on hand last night were Russ Farwell, Philadelphia Flyers general manager, Jim Pappin of the Chicago Blackhawks and Gord Lane of the New York Islanders. . . . The Flyers assigned D Jiri Latal to Hershey, but he refused to report, citing an injured knee. . . . Skipjacks LW Brent Hughes missed the game with the flu.