Bandits and O'Neill hold off Crunch for 2-1 victory Butseyev's goal in 2nd backs goalie's 29 saves

January 01, 1996|By Ed Gonser | Ed Gonser,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The new year came an hour early for the Bandits as Viacheflev Butseyev's second-period goal was all the lead goaltender Mike O'Neill (29 saves) needed in a 2-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch.

Baltimore (15-19-1) literally held on in the waning moments as Craig Reichert was sent off for holding at 19:44 of the third. With goaltender Mike Fountain on the bench in favor of the extra skater, Syracuse tried a set play.

Lonnie Bohonas of the Crunch won the faceoff and sent it to Artur Oktiavbrev. He sent the puck across the blue line to Brent Tully, who one-timed a shot, only to have it deflected as time expired.

"Tonight I knew [Syracuse coach] Jack [McIlhagey] had them ready and it was a much different game and much tougher game," said coach Walt Kyle, whose Bandits routed Syracuse, 9-5, last week.

The Crunch scored the first goal of the game on its first shot, a power-play goal by Oktiavbrev at 2:37.

The Bandits tied the score at 10:27 of the period on a goal by Denny Lambert. The goal was Lambert's first and he was playing his first game as a Bandit. But Kyle remembered Lambert when he played under him in San Diego.

"He's a great player at this level," Kyle said. "He's the kind of guy who can play in the NHL and will probably will be back there soon. But in the meantime, we are really happy to have him playing for us."

Then at 17:30 of the second period Butseyev took a pass from Jason Marshall and went end to end to beat Fountain with the winner.

NOTES: Reichert and J. F. Jomphe scored goals and O'Neill earned his first shutout of the season on Saturday night in the Bandits' 2-0 victory against the Cornwall Aces in Ontario. O'Neill turned aside 32 shots for Baltimore, which killed 12 power plays.

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