Patience gives Hershey revenge, win over Bandits 4-3 victory is atonement for 2 previous home losses

January 21, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Hershey Bears, beaten in their den by the swift-skating Bandits in their past two meetings, got a measure of revenge with a tough 4-3 victory last night.

While winning for the third time in five games in the 12-game season series between the longtime rivals, the Bears proved once again that the race isn't always to the swift.

Made to look as if they were skating in sand through much of the first 30 minutes, Hershey's depth and patience finally came to the fore, and the Bears ran their unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1).

At the same time, the Bandits' 4-0-1 run ended. It was not a fall by the wayside for lack of trying, however. Outmanned, the Bandits led the Bears a mighty chase until the home team figured out a way to slow them down.

Baltimore did an excellent job of stopping Hershey's top scorers, but it was supporting cast members who turned in the goals. Phil Crowe, Chris Herperger and defenseman Jason Bowen scored their third, sixth and fifth goals, respectively, while Scott Morrow (26) and Jim Montgomery (20) were held off the board.

The victory gave Hershey 46 points and some breathing room over Baltimore (41) in the battle for the runner-up spot behind Binghamton in the AHL Southern Division.

Rarely is a team as passive and backed into its own end as Hershey was over the first half of a game only to leave the ice after two periods with a 4-2 lead.

Short a defenseman because of the call-up of Don McSween by Anaheim, the Bandits fell behind as soon as they attempted to run out a third set of backliners less than three minutes into the game. Crowe scored from long range for the Bears as Baltimore goalie Mike O'Neill was screened by his own man.

Darren Van Impe squared it for the Bandits late in the first period, but Hershey sneaked one in just 25 seconds before the intermission, Herperger doing the honors.

A second Bandits power play tied it again after 5:47 of the second period, Maxim Bets squeezing the trigger and, midway in the session, Baltimore had doubled the home team's shots on goal total of 12.

Momentum took a dramatic turn shortly thereafter, Bowen hitting his fifth goal for the Bears after Baltimore goalie O'Neill had handled a shot from point blank range but could not cover the rebound.

Hershey was already on a power play when Nikolai Tsulygin of the Bandits was sent off for slashing and, just 14 seconds into their 5-on-3 advantage, the Bears were two goals up as Shawn McCosh converted a fine pass from Scott Morrow from in close for his 17th tally.

Bandits today

Opponent: Portland Pirates

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 5 p.m.

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

Outlook: Portland belted the Bandits, 7-4, here a month ago despite putting just 16 shots on goal. The winners hit on all three power-play opportunities handed them. Tough times have hit the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, however, the Pirates winning just one of 11 games and falling deep into the AHL cellar.

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