New arrivals add spark, fire Bandits to 5-2 win Potvin, McKay lead way in defeat of Cape Breton

November 30, 1995|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

With two-thirds of their top line in absentia, a center and a quality defenseman also missing, the Bandits' outlook was anything but promising last night.

Maybe that's why they play these games on ice and not on paper.

Given a charge by the arrival of Steve Potvin and Scott McKay, called up from Raleigh of the East Coast Hockey League, the Bandits jumped all over Cape Breton early and rode the momentum to a 5-2 victory.

Potvin got Baltimore's second goal late in the second period on a classy turnaround back-hander from about 20 feet out and was jabbing at the Oilers all night as they attempted to mount an attack in their own end.

McKay also proved a nonstop hustler while playing on a line with J. F. Jomphe and Maxim Bets.

Jomphe previously centered the highly productive Plug Line, but the catalyst of that line, Dwayne Norris, was called up by Anaheim and Mike Maneluk was sidelined with flu-like symptoms.

"My game is sticking my nose in and trying to make something happen," said Potvin, who at 21 already qualifies as an itinerant hockey player. "I went to camp with the Maple Leafs, was sent down to St. John's, then a trade brought me over here [for less than a week]."

He was impressive during workouts and had a goal in a preseason game against Hershey here. "But they had a lot of forwards at the time, so they told me go down [to Raleigh] and they would get me up here during the season when something happened," he said.

"A lot of guys played well tonight," said Bandits coach Walt Kyle. "But the thing that won it for us was the way everyone executed the game plan. I think they understood the importance of sticking to the plan since we had so many forwards missing."

Up 3-1 early in the third period, the Bandits and goalie Mike O'Neill had a major hurdle to clear when Jomphe was whistled off the ice for high-sticking and Nikolai Tsulygin's stick was found to be illegal. But O'Neill and his defensemen handled the 5-on-3 situation easily, restricting the Oilers to three shots, two of them weak.

Before that, O'Neill was required to make three tough saves within a span of about 10 seconds.

"The first one stretched me to the right and I pushed it to me left but lost my stick. The next one was a kick save off that rebound," he said. "Then the puck went out to the point. I saw the slap shot most of the way and got the glove save."

The key man in the home team's strong start was Craig Reichert, who scored his third goal unassisted midway in the first period, then did most of the work on Potvin's score.

Reichert was just looking to get something started when he crept in close and slid the puck across the crease.

D8 To his delight, it glanced off an Oilers defenseman.

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