The Baltimore honeymoon is over for Skipjacks goalie Mik Parson. He knows it. Coach Barry Trotz knows it.
In four games with the club, Parson has yet to win, but has a 2.50 goals-against average that ranks third in the American Hockey League. The goalie he replaced, Duane Derksen, since shipped to the Hampton Roads Admirals of the East Coast Hockey League, had a 5.10 average. The team's No. 1 goalie, Byron Dafoe, had a 4.02 figure until he sprained an ankle.
Clearly, Parson is off to a fine start, despite joining the Skipjacks during a losing streak that has reached six. But how, Trotz wonders, will he hold up over the long haul?
"He'll get over the honeymoon period now," Trotz said as he awaited the Skipjacks' game against the Hershey Bears tonight at the Baltimore Arena. "His adrenalin has been flowing these four, five games.
"Now it'll be back to the same old grind. The challenge for Mike is to be good in the long term. He's off to a decent start. Now he has to maintain it, and we have to help him get some wins under his belt. From now on is when he'll be evaluated."
The Boston Bruins, who made Parson their second draft choice in 1989, are no longer interested in him. "This is my option year," Parson said, "and I'm playing it out."
"If I have a good year, maybe I'll get invited to an NHL camp next summer," Parson said. "I'd like to open the eyes of a few coaches and general managers."
Parson was less than dazzling at Erie, with an 0-4-2 record and a 5.66 goal-against average.
In his first Bruins camp in 1989, Parson was a rousing success. To this day, the Bruins say it was his best.
Parson, however, was sent to junior hockey that season. The following season he played for the Maine Mariners of the AHL and Johnstown of the ECHL.
It was up and down last season, too. Maine. Johnstown. In January, he was recalled by Boston, but never appeared in a game and was sent back to Maine after a few days when the Bruins traded for a goalie.
He was relegated to sharing time with two other goalies, playing once every two or three weeks. The message was becoming clear. Parson wasn't shocked when he wasn't invited to the Bruins' camp last summer.