Extra man again knocks Skipjacks off balance


ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Dominating most of the game's 60 minutes, the Skipjacks again fell victim to their most dangerous two minutes: the power play.

The Rochester Americans, scoring twice on power plays and once short-handed, turned a 2-2 tie into a 5-3 lead and went on to a 6-3 victory last night.

The loss extended Baltimore's winless streak to 10 games (0-9-1), and the short-handed goal was the fourth in the past two games against the Jacks, who were playing their first of six consecutive road games. The trip continues tonight in Utica.

"I'm very deeply concerned," Baltimore coach Rob Laird said. "With every game we lose, I take it very seriously. But that doesn't mean we quit. We just have to find ways to improve ourselves."

The Jacks held a 42-30 advantage in shots on goal. But goalie Olaf Kolzig was able to stop 24 of Rochester's shots, and the Americans' Dave Littman stopped 39, including all 16 Baltimore shots in the third period.

One shot Kolzig did not stop came 1:14 into the third period, with the game tied at 3 and the Jacks on a power play.

"Ollie tried to move the puck up quickly to a forward," Laird said. Instead, Kolzig virtually passed it to Rochester's Lou Franceschetti in the left faceoff circle. Franceschetti shot it back, past Kolzig and into the net.

"Five-on-five, again tonight we were as good if not better than that hockey team," Laird said, shaking his head. "But you've got to give some credit to Rochester. They're a very good penalty-killing team, and Littman played great. Their experience showed a little on their special teams and goaltending."

Rochester's experience also showed on its final two goals, both by veteran Jody Gage, who also had an assist. His 564 career points are one short of Dick Gamble's record for the 36-year-old Amerks' franchise.

The first period was all Baltimore, as the Jacks scored twice at even strength. The first goal came 6:49 into the game. Jeff Greenlaw scooped up a loose puck behind the net, then wrapped it around the right post past Littman for Greenlaw's second goal this season.

On the next score, at 15:44, Baltimore's Ken Lovsin and John Purves went two-on-one with Rochester's Keith Carney. The final pass went from Purves to Lovsin for the defenseman's fifth goal.

The Amerks reacted to the 2-0 first-period deficit with a flurry of three goals in the first 6:40 of the second. First, Brad Rubachuk beat Kolzig with a short backhand on the goalie's right side. Then, after Bobby Reynolds gave up the puck at center ice, two Rochester skaters came in alone on Kolzig, with Gage feeding Peter Ciavaglia for his 20th goal.

Finally, Dan Frawley poked in a backhand from Kolzig's left after a shot from the slot was blocked.

That was the game's first power-play goal, with Purves off for interference. Purves made up for it with a power-play goal, at 11:52. He skated in front and tipped in Jiri Vykoukal's drive from the right point for his 29th goal. The second period ended in a 3-3 tie.

Skipjacks preview


-- * WHEN: Tonight, 7:30.

* WHERE: Memorial Auditorium, Utica, N.Y.

* RADIO: WERQ (1010 AM).

* OUTLOOK: The Skipjacks are on a six-game trip that will keep them on the road until Feb. 29. The Capitals have recalled G Jim Hrivnak. RW Steve Seftel and D Bobby Babcock are off the injury list. Utica has had C Jarrod Skalde, RW Bill Guerin and LW Jeff Christian returned by New Jersey. Utica also has sent G Doug Dadswell to ECHL Cincinnati and recalled D David Craievich from ECHL Erie. The teams haven't met this season and are 3-3-1 in their previous seven.

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