Bandits top Rangers for first road win

November 26, 1995|By Paul Stuart | Paul Stuart,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It took almost two months and 10 games, but the Baltimore Bandits finally know what a road victory feels like.

Led by Dwayne Norris, Jean-Francois Jomphe and goaltender Mike O'Neill's 42 saves, the Bandits defeated the Binghamton Rangers, 5-3, last night to end their season-long winless streak on the road at nine games (0-7-2).

"We played with the mentality to win on the road," coach Walt Kyle said of last night's effort. "We were patient, we were down . . . we'd didn't try to hit home run balls, we stuck to the game plan."

Kyle gave special credit to defenseman Oleg Mikulchik, who played after finding out yesterday afternoon that his mother had died in Russia.

"He came in and played and I thought it was a very courageous performance," Kyle said. "I want him to know our prayers are with him. It's an unbelievably difficult situation."

Norris had two goals and an assist, scoring the eventual game-winner off a pass from Jomphe 52 seconds into the third period and returning the favor when Jomphe added an insurance goal in a short-handed situation with 5:15 to play.

Norris has five goals and nine assists in the six games he has played since joining the Bandits after signing with the NHL parent Mighty Ducks. He also has become team captain after Alex Hicks was recalled by Anaheim.

The Bandits are 4-1-1 with Norris and veteran defenseman Doug Crossman, another late addition, in the lineup.

VTC "This is a very young team," Norris said. "I think the average age is around 21 or 22. Sometimes it takes 10-15 games to produce that confidence you need to win.

"I think we were a different team on the road tonight than other nights. The experience of Doug Crossman speaks for itself. We just want to come in and settle everybody down and play a smart game, and I think that's what we did tonight."

Peter Ferraro's 17th and 18th goals of the season gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead before the teams combined for four goals in a wild 1 minute, 25 seconds of the second period to turn it into a 3-3 tie.

Norris one-timed a 20-footer past goaltender Jon Hillebrandt during a two-man advantage at 13:52 before Mike Maneluk stuffed the puck in at 14:50 -- nine seconds after the second power play expired -- to tie the game at 2.

It took seven seconds for Binghamton to retake the lead, as Daniel Lacroix ripped a 55-foot shot off the left post and into the net behind O'Neill just after the faceoff.

But Baltimore tied it 20 seconds later when Craig Reichert poked in his own rebound after Hillebrandt fell backward making the first stop.

Bandits today

Opponent: Hershey Bears

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 5 p.m.

Radio: WITH (1230 AM), WAMD (970 AM)

Outlook: The Bears opened the 12-game season series with the Bandits with a 7-3 thumping in Hershey last month. Before that, they won two preseason contests against Baltimore. The Bandits have a 5-4 record at home.

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