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Sunday, December 2, 2007
Skiehar Suffers Gash in Scorpions' Victory
By James Yodice
Journal Staff Writer
RIO RANCHO Whatever brew the Rocky Mountain Rage have concocted in their sizzling start to the 2007-08 Central Hockey League season, it apparently loses its mojo when they skate inside the Santa Ana Star Center.
Barely a month after New Mexico humiliated the Rage 10-0, the Scorpions took the more difficult route Saturday night, holding off Rocky Mountain 4-2 to complete a weekend sweep of the CHL's Colorado entries.
Rocky Mountain (12-2-2) has only two regulation losses this season, both on the road to the Scorpions, and the Rage apparently had some anger- management issues.
"We embarrassed them the last time," forward Konrad Reeder said. "They're a good team, and they didn't like that."
The clinching goal was provided by Reeder, on a penalty shot with 57.4 seconds remaining.
But that was just the start of a controversial, fight-marred finish.
Scorps coach Randy Murphy accused Rage goaltender Terry Dunbar of using the butt end of his stick as a weapon to inflict a "50-stitch" gash on the head of New Mexico forward Shawn Skiehar.
"There's no room for what the goalie did to our guy," Murphy said. "(The injury is) career-threatening."
After the game, Skiehar's teammate, Kevin Harvey, took a run at Dunbar and knocked him over, and that nearly cleared the benches.
"Kevin jumped the bench and he shouldn't have jumped," Murphy said. "But he sticks up for every guy on this team."
It was a fairly bruising night all around, especially the final two periods after New Mexico (9-8-2) stormed out to a three-goal lead early.
While Rocky Mountain has enjoyed nearly unanimous success against everyone else, the Rage have been confounded by the Scorpions.
"You could see some of the frustration in some of their top guys," said rookie forward Mitch Stephens, who had a goal and an assist for New Mexico.
Skiehar was being taken to a local hospital, Murphy said, but didn't have any further word on the severity of the cut to his face.
"(The win) is sort of bittersweet," Murphy said.
A night after scoring four power-play goals in a 4-3 win over Colorado, New Mexico had two man-advantage tallies in the opening 20 minutes Saturday.
The first came off the stick of Craig Macdonald 3:31 into the game. It was Macdonald's third goal in two games.
Stephens put home an easy rebound at 19:50 of the first for a 3-0 lead, and sandwiched between Macdonald and Stephens was a slap-shot goal by defenseman Andrew Smale at 15:08.
The Rage's power play got busy in a sloppy middle period as Rocky Mountain shaved the deficit to 3-2.
NOTES: Reeder briefly left the ice in the first period, holding a towel to his face. He said he was cross-checked into the boards, and had a huge gash on his forehead that required a few stitches. He returned later in the period. ... Former Scorpions defenseman Matt Frick is with Rocky Mountain. Saturday marked his seventh game.
Friday: New Mexico at Odessa, 6:05 p.m. Radio: KTBL-AM (1050)