Thunder wilts in OT after scoring spree Buffalo clinches division title, 19-18

February 21, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

For a guy still recovering from a fractured thumb, Baltimore Thunder goaltender Tom Manos got a heavy dose of action.

Manos, a former Towson State goalie, missed the Thunder's first five games with his injury. But he was listed as the reserve for starter Dave Lee going into last night's game and, according to coach John Stewart, probably would make only a cameo appearance.

"He'll play some," Stewart said. "We'll give Lee a break just to get him some action."

Instead, Manos played more than three-quarters of the game and found himself in the middle of a scoring outburst as the Thunder bowed to the Buffalo Bandits, 19-18, in overtime before 7,916 at the Baltimore Arena. Kevin Alexander's goal only 12 seconds into sudden death decided it.

Buffalo, the defending MILL champion, stretched its league-record winning streak to 14, including a 6-0 record this season. The victory enabled the Bandits to clinch the National Division title.

The Thunder has dropped five straight since winning its opener.

"It shows a lot of character to almost beat the best team in the league," said Thunder general manager Darrell Russell. "It shows we can beat anybody."

Manos replaced Lee after Buffalo took a 3-1 advantage and finished with 37 saves.

"It helps to be able to yank your goalie and have an experienced guy to go to like Manos," Russell said.

The Thunder trailed until inching ahead in the second quarter, 9-8, then built leads of 12-9 and 14-11 in the third quarter.

A key stretch was in the third quarter when the Bandits scored five unanswered goals for a 16-14 lead.Derek Keenan accounted for the last two and John Tavares also had one.

Keenan led Buffalo with five goals and Tavares had four. Matt Kerwick, Tim Welsh and Brian Kroneberger (ejected for fighting in the third quarter) each scored three for Baltimore. Welsh's goal with 2:35 left in regulation knotted the score at 18.

The Thunder jumped to a 1-0 lead on Rick Sowell's goal, but quickly fell behind 3-1.

Keenan raised Buffalo's lead to 4-1, but then the Thunder ran off consecutive goals by Kerwick and Butch Marino to draw within 4-3.

Until halftime, neither team led by more than two goals. The Thunder tied it at 7 on John Tucker's goal and again at 8 on Kerwick's second on a power play.

The Thunder took the lead for the first time, at 9-8, with 2:12 left in the second quarter when Kroneberger beat Buffalo goaltender Bill Gerrie for his second goal of the night. Tavares scored his third to tie it at 9.

Stewart chuckled when asked before the game how a team can stop the Bandits. Buffalo began the evening with a league-leading average of 18.2 goals game.

"Lock the building so they can't come in," Stewart said. "They have five players among the top 12 in scoring."

NOTES: The Thunder's Vince Angotti missed his first MILL game in three years because of a business commitment.

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