Bears' late goal beats Skipjacks, 4-3


HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Baltimore Skipjacks dropped another heartbreaking, late-game decision to the Hershey Bears last night.

After staging a rally to tie the score at 3 in the second period, the Skipjacks managed only five shots on goal in the third period, and Hershey pulled out a 4-3 Southern Division victory before a sellout crowd of 7,664 at the Hersheypark Arena.

Bill Armstrong's power-play goal, off the rebound of a shot by Len Barrie, over a prone Baltimore goalie Jim Hrivnak with 1 minute, 32 seconds remaining, gave Hershey the victory and stretched its superiority over the Skipjacks in Hershey to 4-0-1 this season. The Bears lead the season series, 5-3-2.

The Skipjacks had a chance to tie at the end. Coach Rob Laird pulled Hrivnak with 1:06 left in favor of an extra attacker and then got a 48-second power play when Hershey's Armstrong was called for cross-checking by referee Steve Walkom.

The Hershey defense, anchored by goalie Dominic Roussel, allowed the Skipjacks only one shot on goal to hold on for the victory.

Laird was so incensed with the loss that he smashed away at the boards in front of the Baltimore bench with a stick after the game ended.

The loss pushed Baltimore's winless streak to 0-5-1, matching its longest drought of the season and keeping the Skipjacks in last place in the division.

Hershey scored the only goal of the first period, during a power play. Darren Rumble fired a slap shot from center point that caromed off a Skipjacks defenseman's skate in front of the goal, through goalie Hrivnak's pads and into the goal at 6:44.

Baltimore apparently tied the score seconds later when Reggie Savage knocked the puck past Roussel just before Savage crashed into the cage. Referee Steve Walkom, however, ruled that the puck did not cross the goal before the goal came off its magnetic moorings.

A pair of goals in a 77-second span early in the second period boosted the Bears into a 3-0 lead. Martin Hostak scored on a shot from the top of left circle at 1:01 and Len Barrie, trying to center the puck off the rear boards, bounced the puck off Hrivnak's pads and into the nets at 2:18.

NOTES: Skipjacks LW Craig Duncanson served a one-game suspension last night because of a spearing incident Friday in Baltimore. RW Steve Seftel was scratched because Laird didn't want Seftel, who just returned to play after knee surgery, to play three games in three nights. Also scratched for Baltimore were C Harry Mews and D Chris Clarke. . . .D Ryan McGill, acquired in a trade from the Chicago Blackhawks for LW Tony Horacek, was in the Hershey lineup last night. LW Pat Murray has been returned by the Philadelphia Flyers. C Al Conroy, LW Dale Kushner and LW Wes Walz are still on recall with the Flyers.

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