Jacks could have to reach into booth for help in goal Analyst Simpson backs up Derksen Skipjacks notebook

Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz believes "there is a good chance" that goaltender Byron Dafoe will return from the Washington Capitals, where he is replacing the injured Don Beaupre, by Saturday.

In the meantime, Trotz will have to make do.


Duane Derksen will be in the nets tonight when the team's road trip continues at Hamilton, Ontario, but Derksen's backup will be a former player who has been an analyst on radio for the parent Capitals.

That is Shawn Simpson, 34, who has been with the Skipjacks before.


"He was the backup for a couple of years [1989-90 and 1990-91]," Trotz said before practice yesterday. "This is strictly a stopgap measure in case something happens to Derksen."

The coach said he would be comfortable with Simpson "if he just had to go for a game. But if he had to play three games in three nights, I wouldn't feel very good about the situation."

That is what faces the Skipjacks, who play at Hamilton tonight, at Adirondack tomorrow night and at Binghamton Saturday night.

In his most recent season, Simpson played in 19 games, was 7-6 in the games he started and allowed a average of 5.10 goals a game.

Derksen is 1-3 this year with a 5.48 goals-against average.

Scoring scarcity

The Skipjacks have been having trouble scoring since Keith Jones and Steve Konowalchuk were recalled. That concerns Trotz, whose team is 1-4 in its last five starts.

"That's an area we have to beef up a little bit," said the coach. "We can't beat teams 6-4 now. We have to beat them 3-2."


Right wing Reggie Savage has been the most consistent Skipjacks scorer recently. Since joining the team Oct. 23, he has seven goals and five assists in eight games and has not been blanked in any game.

Nobody is hurting

Recalls, but not injury, have cost the Skipjacks players. The holdovers are healthy entering the tough three-game stretch.

"It's not going to be easy," said Trotz. "Hamilton is trying to get back on track, Adirondack is a very physical team that is unbeaten at home and Binghamton is the class of the league."

The Skipjacks are 2-5-1 away from the Baltimore Arena.



Dafoe was leading the AHL with 320 saves at the time of his recall. . . . Skipjacks Mike Boback and Martin Jiranek rank in the top 10 of AHL rookie scorers with 16 and 15 points, respectively. . . . Baltimore's average home attendance of 3,656 stands seventh in the 16-team league.