Fast-starting Rangers beat Bandits, 6-4 Home team spots Binghamton 4-0 lead

January 04, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore Bandits have improved their play dramatically over the past two dozen games or so, no doubt. It's not to the point where the team can spot anyone a head start, however.

The Bandits learned that last night as they came out as if it were a pre-game skate and the Binghamton Rangers took off on them running. The deficit was up to four goals before anyone noticed ** and, by then, it was too late. The visitors won, 6-4, at Baltimore Arena, and evened the season series between the Southern Division foes at three wins apiece.

"You don't try to trade goals with that team," said Bandits coach Walt Kyle. "The Rangers are one of the best scoring teams in the league and we're one of the worst.

"As bad as we were defensively in the first period, we playepretty well after that. We're going to have a team meeting and try to figure out why our pre-game preparation before home games is so bad."

Baltimore was missing its top goal-scorer, Mike Maneluk, who had the flu, and the game ended Doug Crossman's 25-game contract with the Bandits.

The game was barely off the launch pad when the home team swept in for what looked like a sure goal. Slava Butsayev fed a pass across the slot to Jeremy Stevenson, who one-timed a hard shot about knee-high that was flagged by goalie Ken Shepard.

Pete Ferraro, who usually scores a couple of goals against Baltimore, got the Rangers away with his 30th at 2:21. It was Binghamton's first shot on goal. Then came Andrei Kudinov (7), Chris Ferraro (17) and Steve Larouche (16) beating Mike O'Neill with the third, fifth and sixth shots, all in little more than 10 minutes.

Even though Binghamton scored on four of its first six shots, Kyle absolved O'Neill of malfeasance on three of those scores. "Bad defense," he said, "pure and simple."

Said Rangers coach George Burnett: "I know that wasn't the usual Mike out there tonight. I voted him as one of the two `D goalies for the All-Star Game. But he's under a lot of pressure here [playing every game], and there's going to be games like this."

Strange as it may sound, the Bandits had a chance to get back into the game, but more bad decisions by forwards who seemingly had a good chance to score goals hurt their chances.

The Ferraro brothers, Pete and Chris, both had a goal and assist for the Rangers, as did the team's other big gun, Larouche.

JTC Binghamton 4 0 2 -- 6

Bandits .. 1 1 2 -- 4

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