It was anything but a winter wonderland Skipjacks are game, but nobody else is Staff writers Sandy McKee, Alan Goldstein, Ross Peddicord and Doug Brown contributed to this report.


Let's hear it for the Baltimore Skipjacks and the Providence Bruins -- and the 290 fans who came to see them yesterday at the Baltimore Arena.

They were the only ones who braved yesterday's blizzard.

Last night's game between the Washington Bullets and Cleveland Cavaliers scheduled for the Arena was postponed after the NBA reversed its decision of Friday and ordered the teams not to play.

The game will be played tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Arena.

"The decision [to postpone] was made at about 3 p.m. by Russ Granik, the deputy commissioner," said Bullets spokesman Matt Williams. "They didn't go into any detail about why they changed their minds [about postponing], but I believe when they took a look and saw it was going to get worse before it got better, they decided to postpone the game."

And the Washington Capitals called off their game against the New York Rangers after the team received phone calls from "thousands of fans" insisting they would come to the Capital Centre if it was played.

"It was in the best interest of the fans for us to postpone," said Lew Strudler, the Capitals vice president of marketing. "[Owner] Abe Pollin, [president] Dick Patrick, [general manager] David Poile, myself, building people and Neil Smith [the Rangers president and general manager] were all consulted, and considering the weather reports we've heard about the wind and wind chill, everyone agreed the smartest thing to do was postpone rather than put someone's physical health in jeopardy."

The Capitals' game with the New York Islanders on Long Island, scheduled for 5:10 p.m. today, has also been postponed.

No makeup dates have been announced for either of the Capitals' postponed games.

The local professionals weren't the only ones affected by the storm.

All the state's college lacrosse teams had their games postponed, except for Loyola, which was able to play its game in Chapel Hill, N.C., against the top-ranked Tar Heels. After suffering a 17-8 loss, the third-ranked Greyhounds probably wish they hadn't played.

Laurel Race Course canceled yesterday's and today's thoroughbred cards, and Rosecroft Raceway in Oxon Hill called off yesterday's and today's harness cards.

Racing will resume at Laurel on Tuesday, when the card comprises a mixture of races carried over from yesterday and today. Rosecroft will resume racing Wednesday.

"We wanted to push to try to race [today] because of the ACRS [American Championship Racing Series] stakes at Gulfstream Park. But it was just impossible," said Laurel general manager Jim Mango.

The boys and girls state basketball finals will be played Tuesday. The boys games will be at Cole Field House in College Park, with Class 1A at 3 p.m., Class 3A at 5 p.m., Class 2A at 7 p.m., and Class 4A at 9 p.m. The girls games will be at UMBC. The Class 2A game is at 3 p.m., followed by the Class 4A at 5 p.m., Class 1A at 7 p.m., and Class 3A at 9 p.m.

Mount St. Mary's women's basketball team, which was to have played Marist in the championship game of the Northeast Conference in Hackensack, N.J., will try to play the game today.

Skipjacks director of public relations Margaret Robinson said there was a pragmatic reason why they wanted to play yesterday's game.

"We were more rested than Providence," said Robinson, tongue planted firmly in cheek. "We arrived home at 3 a.m. [Saturday] after our game in Binghamton [N.Y.]. Providence [which played Friday in New Haven, Conn.] didn't get to Baltimore until 4:30."

The extra hour and a half must have helped. The Skipjacks defeated Providence, 4-3.

The Skipjacks and Bruins are scheduled to play again tonight at 7 at the Arena.

The Spirit is scheduled to play the Harrisburg Heat at the Arena today at 2 p.m.

Team officials said last night that the game was still on, but if fans don't want to fight the snow, they can exchange their tickets for either of next weekend's home games. Saturday night the Detroit Rockers visit the Arena.

Sunday's opponent? The Buffalo Blizzard.

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