Bandits blow 4-goal lead in 5-4 loss to Carolina Short-handed OT goal is winner for Monarchs

January 24, 1996|By Tom Steadman | Tom Steadman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Baltimore Bandits saw a four-goal lead vanish last night as the Carolina Monarchs rallied to take a 5-4 American Hockey League win in overtime.

The Bandits, who just nine days earlier had staged their own four-goal comeback to gain a tie against the Monarchs, still came away with a point for tying after 60 minutes of regulation play. That keeps them two points ahead of the Monarchs in third place in the Southern Division.

Still, it was a disappointing loss in a game that appeared to be won early. And the winning goal -- by Carolina defenseman Sean McCann -- came with the Bandits on a power play during overtime.

"I thought we played very well up until the 12-minute mark," said coach Walt Kyle, whose team lost for only the third time in the past 11 games. "Then we got fat."

By that time, however, the Bandits (18-22-5) were up 4-0 and Carolina (17-22-5) was seemingly dead on the ice.

The Monarchs didn't come to life until the 13:26 mark of the second period, when Mike Casselman's power-play goal cut the Baltimore lead to 4-1. Two minutes later, leading Carolina scorer Brad Smyth made it 4-2 with his 41st of the year on a behind-the-net pass from center Steve Washburn.

The Monarchs then took less than three minutes of the third period to notch two goals, by wing Gilbert Dionne and defenseman Chris Armstrong, to tie the score. That forced the overtime, which began with a Baltimore power play. But the Bandits lost the puck in their own zone and McCann's long slap shot went between the legs of goalie Mike O'Neill.

In the first period, the Bandits scored twice within the first three minutes and twice more by mid-period to take a commanding lead.

First, right wing Dwayne Norris put home the rebound of a blocked J. F. Jomphe shot from point-blank range to open the scoring at 2:15. A half-minute later, center Viacheslav Butsayev scored the first of two straight goals, scoring off a faceoff at 2:47 of the period.

Butsayev came back to score again at 6:54 of the first period for a three-goal Bandits advantage.

Left wing Denny Lambert, shooting from behind the Monarchs' net on the Bandits' first power play of the night, bounced the puck off Kevin Weekes and into the goal for a 4-0 lead at the 11:10 mark.

Baltimore .. 4 .. 0 .. 0 .. 0 .. -- .. 4

HTC Carolina ... 0 .. 2 .. 2 .. 1 .. -- .. 5

Bandits tonight

Opponent: Springfield Falcons

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 7

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

Outlook: The Falcons (26-16-5) are an AHL power, trailing only Albany by just one point in the standings. They also are one of only three teams with a winning record on the road. Springfield is led by G Manny Legace, who has the best goals-against average in the league (2.31), and Iain Fraser, who is sixth in league scoring (20 goals, 38 assists).

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