RALEIGH, North Carolina (Thu Dec 2 23:00:04 1999) -- Linemates Gary Roberts and Jeff O'Neill each scored and defenseman Sean Hill added two assists as the Carolina Hurricanes skated to a 2-2 tie against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Entertainment and Sports Arena on Thursday night. Hurricanes netminder Arturs Irbe posted 22 saves in his 14th consecutive start for Carolina who extended their unbeaten streak to a season-high five games (2-0-3).
Trailing 1-0 in the second period, Roberts tallied his fourth goal of the season, deflecting a Sean Hill blast from the blueline past Toronto goaltender Curtis Joseph with 15 seconds remaining in the period. With the assist, Hill built his point streak to five games (2g, 6a).
O'Neill notched his ninth goal of the season when Ron Francis made a beautiful backhanded pass into the slot that O'Neill was able to swing past Joseph to give Carolina a 2-1 lead at the 6:14 mark of the third period.
The Maple Leafs registered the tying goal when Gary Valk recorded his first goal of the season with 1:23 remaining in the third period.
The Hurricanes are now 0-0-7 in overtime this season and currently sit in second place in the Southeast Division, trailing the Florida Panthers by a single point. Carolina is now 6-2-2 in their last 10 games at home and have not allowed a power-play goal in 12 games at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS VS. CAROLINA HURRICANES
DECEMBER 2, 1999
CAROLINA HEAD COACH PAUL MAURICE:
On the game:
“A different game than we saw from them last time. A little disappointing after the game but we played pretty well first period and the third period. We had some great chances to score. They had some real fine chances. Arturs made some really great saves.
“O’Neill’s line again very strong. A power play goal and Roberts going to the net got us back in the game. I think regardless of who you play, it’s very frustrating when you give up a goal that late. When you’ve got a team down, especially in the third, even when they were putting the push on at the end, we were in very good shape. It was just an open path to the net.”
“We had a a great chance in overtime – a couple. Probably fitting it was a tie but I thought in the first and third, especially in the third, we played a real solid game We skated a whole lot better tonight.”
On Sean Hill:
“He’s got a lot of confidence. He’s moving the puck well. Once in a while he gets a little carried away with the size in the back.”
“Wesley has something to do with his kneecap. There’s no ligament damage. He wanted to come back and play but we didn’t want him out long term.”
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS COACH PAT QUINN
On getting the point:
“Certainly not the kind of game we wanted to play. They did what they do, they dump it in and come at you. We had a kind of a sleepy sort of a game for lots of parts of it. Obviously it’s better than the alternative.”
On Valk’s first goal of the season:
“There are a number of guys we need to get off that big doughnut.”
“They played a strong forechecking game. They’re not pretty, but they were pretty effective. It certainly takes away our game. We were just standing around and didn’t have a lot of movement. Our defensemen didn’t have a lot of room.”
On whether the team is tired:
“I suppose it’s a combination of a few things. We’re not getting the movement back enough where we get in deep. It’s a state of mind issue. The very first shift we lost the draw and then cheated on the forecheck. Our defense lost the trust immediately in our forwards and all of the sudden we were playing separated out. We were given the opportunity to take center ice, but we didn’t capitalize on it.”
-------------------------------Toronto 0 1 1 0--2Carolina 0 1 1 0--2-------------------------------FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: Khristich, Tor (highsticking), 4:41; B Berard, Tor (hooking), 12:47; Hill, Car (interference),14:00; K King, Tor (roughing), 17:58.SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Toronto, Khristich 7 (Cross, Perreault),11:17. 2, Carolina, Roberts 4 (Hill, Kovalenko), 19:46.THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 3, Carolina, Oneill 9 (power play) (Francis,Hill), 14:46. 4, Toronto, Valk 1 (Korolev, S Berezin), 18:47. Penalties:Valk, Tor (Obstr holding), 4:25; Gelinas, Car (holding), 7:12.OVERTIME -- Scoring: None.Shots on goal:------------------------------------Toronto 4 10 9 1--24Carolina 9 6 9 3--27------------------------------------
Power-play Conversions: Tor - 0 of 2, Car - 1 of 4. Goalies: Toronto,Joseph (27 shots, 25 saves; record: 12-6-4). Carolina, Irbe (24, 22;record: 9-6-7). Referees: Leggo, Shick. Linesmen: Orourke,Schachte.