Nighthawks hand Skipjacks 5th straight loss, 6-5 in OT


The New Haven Nighthawks are one of the teams that the Skipjacks are supposed to beat.

New Haven, an independent club, has been struggling most of the season and has been begging and borrowing players from anywhere it can get them. The Nighthawks have two Washington Capitals draft choices, goalie Byron Dafoe and right wing Andrei Kovalev.

However, New Haven dealt Baltimore its fifth loss in a row, 6-5 in overtime at the Baltimore Arena last night.

This stretched the Skipjacks' winless streak to seven (0-6-1), the longest of the season. The loss also kept Baltimore in last place in the Southern Division of the AHL.

David Latta scored the winning goal when he knocked the rebound of a shot by Al Tuer past goalie Ollie Kolzig at 1 minute, 22 seconds of the extra period. Tuer shot from the left circle and Kolzig made the stop but could not control the puck, and it dropped down into the crease, where Latta poked it into the net.

"I took the shot, and Kolzig made the save," said Tuer. "He tried to smother the puck against his chest, but it dropped down beside him and Latta had an easy chance."

Latta said: "[Trevor] Stineberg made the play, passing the puck from the point to Tuer, who took the shot. I was trailing the play, and Kolzig dropped the puck. All I had to do was bat it into the net."

Mark Ferner scored two goals and had an assist, Brent Hughes, Todd Hlushko and Simon Wheeldon each scored once for Baltimore, and Wheeldon had two assists.

John Anderson scored twice for New Haven, and Kent Hulst, Mike McEwen and Paul Willett also scored.

The Skipjacks fired 57 shots at Maneluk, the most of the season by Baltimore, but could not win.

Skipjacks coach Rob Laird was upset, but remained calm and said he saw some good things, despite the loss.

"This [losing so many close games] has been a new experience for me and a lot of these guys," said Laird. "We keep stretching our potential to the limit, keep playing extremely hard, but we keep coming up short. But we're building through this bad time. I believe we're going to look back on this stretch of adversity and discover that this made us a better hockey team.

"I truly believe the individuals are getting stronger through this experience. I have never been involved in so many tough losses in my entire career."

New Haven 3 0 2 1 -- 6

Baltimore 0 3 2 0 -- 5

First period: 1. New Haven, Hulst 12 (Drulia), 8:20; 2. New Haven, Anderson 27 (Bechard), 12:19; 3. New Haven, McEwen 3 (Anderson, Willett), 15:20. Penalties: Kovalev, N.H., bench minor (too many men on ice), 3:47; Mikoulchik, N.H. (cross- checking), 17:59.

Second period: 4. Baltimore, Hughes 24 (Wheeldon, Ferner), 4:21; 5. Baltimore, Hlushko 12 (Lovsin, Purves), 13:15; 6. Baltimore, Ferner 5 (Hlushko, Vykoukal), 18:32. Penalties: Bechard, N.H. double minor (roughing), 7:40; Sabourin, Bal double minor (roughing), 7:40; Stienberg, N.H. (cross-checking), 16:31; Doyon, N.H. (interference), 16:31; Greenlaw, Bal (high-sticking), 19:57.

Third period: 7. New Haven, Willett 14 (Doyon, Baseggio),pp, 1:38; 8. Baltimore,Wheeldon 29 (Hughes, Savage), 2:15; 9. New Haven, Anderson 28 ( Willett, Drulia), 6:24; 10. Baltimore, Ferner 6 (Vykoukal, Wheeldon), pp, 9:02. Penalties: Tuer, N.H. (interference), 7:50; Maneluk, N.H., served by Hulst ( delay of game), 8:37.

Overtime: 11. New Haven, Latta 12 (Stineberg, Tuer), 1:22 .

Shots on goal--New Haven 10-7-15-3-35. Baltimore 18-23-16-0-57. Power-play opportunities--New Haven 1 of 1. Baltimore 1 of 6. Goalies--New Haven, Maneluk 14-16-0 (57 shots, 52 saves). Baltimore, Kolzig 3-10-2 (35-29). A--1,909. Referee--Paul Devorski. Linesmen--Matt Dunne, Brett Parson.

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