Norris' goal in overtime lifts Bandits over Crunch Finish four-game sweep of Syracuse this season

January 06, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

The Bandits had missed on two golden opportunities to score late in regulation and then it was overtime last night at the Arena against the Syracuse Crunch.

The Bandits' Darren Van Impe halted a Syracuse foray down ice and got the puck across to his defensive partner, Don McSween.

"I was on the fly," said Dwayne Norris, "and Donny gave me a perfect lead pass. I kept the outside and decided to go with a slap shot low."

It was a good decision. The puck whistled through the legs of Crunch goalie Mike Fountain and the Bandits had a 2-1 victory and a four-game AHL series sweep of Syracuse.

Norris posted his 15th goal (in 23 games) and third game-winning tally.

The game gave promise of being a spirited affair when Pete Leboutillier of the Bandits and John Badduke of Syracuse squared off about the time the puck was hitting the ice on the opening faceoff.

Two seconds, that's all it took for these guys to express displeasure with each other. The Arena crowd of 4,857 was into it.

Unfortunately, for long stretches the teams weren't. Oh, they tried hard, but both had trouble accomplishing much. During the second period, for example, the Crunch, which was outshot, 15-6, played as if it was killing a penalty while the teams were even-handed.

The Crunch, beaten in its three previous encounters with the Bandits, got away first, Larry Courville hitting from in close after just 3:25. Serious threats were few and far between.

The horn was just about to sound ending the middle session when Van Impe sneaked a backhand between the legs of the Syracuse goalie during a 4-on-3 situation. It was the defenseman's fifth goal and 30th point.

Regarding the four-game sweep, Bandits coach Walt Kyle said, "The last two games [both 2-1] were more indicative of the difference between these teams. We won near the end up there and on the last shot here. Things got out of hand for them in the first two games."

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