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Skipjacks' rally falls short vs. Citadels Halifax escapes with 7-6 victory


HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- The Skipjacks rallied back from a 5-0 second-period deficit last night against the Halifax Citadels, only to lose, 7-6, at the Metro Centre.

The Citadels (27-35-10), last in the Atlantic Division, had a 3-0 lead at the end of the first period and a 5-0 advantage at the 11:34 mark of the second period when Mark Vermette's shot went through the pads of Skipjacks goalie Byron Dafoe.

The Skipjacks (25-35-12) out scored the Citadels 4-1 in the final period. Eric Murano's goal off a pass from Brad Schlegel brought Baltimore within 7-6 with less than two minutes to play.

Murano skated through two defensemen from outside the blue line to hit one past Halifax goalie John Tanner, who had 36 saves on 42 shots.

With one minute left, the Skipjacks pulled goalie Duane Derksen, who replaced Dafoe to start the third period, in an effort to score on a sixth-man opportunity. Mike Boback won a faceoff in the Halifax zone and pulled the puck to defenseman Jason Woolley, who had scored twice earlier in the period. But before Woolley could get his stick on it, the puck had skidded by him and into the neutral zone.

"We were happy that we rallied in the third and made a game of it," Skipjacks coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought we started really slow tonight and early in the second period we started picking up some momentum."

Tanner, despite giving up six goals, was impressive in the cage. He robbed Chris Longo of a breakaway goal 7:33 in the second period when the Skipjacks were still looking for their first score.

"John Tanner probably made five outstanding saves," Trotz said. "I thought we had more quality chances than they did."

John Byce scored the first Skipjacks goal at the 12:59 mark of the second period, following a missed attempt by teammate Trevor Halverson.

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