Bandits ignore Hershey's bad manners and rout Bears Jomphe scores hat trick in brawl-filled 7-2 contest

January 28, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

HERSHEY, Pa. -- The Hershey Bears, affiliated with the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers for the past 10 years, tried to emulate the famed Broad Street Bullies of the '70s last night. They weren't even close.

First making the mistake of trying to match speed with the niftier Bandits, then making it a game of power plays, the Bears were blown out, 7-2, by their AHL adversaries from down the road on I-83.

It was nowhere near that close, because the Bandits breezed to a 7-0 lead in the first 36 minutes of play and eased in thereafter.

In their heyday, the Flyers attempted to intimidate just about every team they played and they were successful about 90 percent of the time. Maybe the Bears are just out of practice.

As is usually the case when Baltimore has played at Hersheypark Arena this season, the Plug Line of Dwayne Norris, J. F. Jomphe and Mike Maneluk went berserk.

Jomphe had a hat trick, hitting three of his first four shots, and Norris had a five-point game, racking up a goal and four assists. Maneluk had three assists.

"We just laughed at that rough stuff," said Jomphe. "They want to fight, we'll do that, but we also continued to play hockey and score."

Said Bandits coach Walt Kyle: "There are two ways to deal with that stuff. You either answer in kind with your tough guys or you convert your power plays."

The Bandits hit their first four power plays, but that didn't stop the Bears from rough-housing. "I was proud of the fact we answered their challenges with kids: Pete [Leboutillier], Jason [Marshall] and Jeremy [Stevenson] all stepped up and fought," Kyle said.

Obviously, a game's rest worked for Mike O'Neill, the goalie proving a rock early when the Bandits needed him. The Bears were put on a pair of power plays in the first seven minutes but accomplished nothing.

In between those plays, the Bandits took a lead after just 5:51 as Jomphe flashed through the Hershey defense for his 18th goal.

The Bandits, using four forwards on their own power play, made the strategy pay quickly as right wing Jim Campbell moved in and hammered his first goal past Neil Little just 33 seconds after a man-advantage situation started.

Few knew it, but a couple of incidents in the last minute of the first period signaled the game was soon to become a rout.

Two Hershey players took bad penalties and, when the second period started, Jomphe had his second goal after just 27 seconds. Less than a minute later, he had his third and a hat trick in just 21 minutes, 23 seconds.

It was at this point, with the near-sellout crowd of 6,940 booing their every move, that the Bears decided to get ornery.

In separate incidents spanning just five seconds, six players were sent off for fighting. Bodies were flying hither and yon to the extent that even linesman Jim Doyle couldn't get out of the way and a body check sent him into the Baltimore bench. He hTC skated off for repairs and the game proceeded with a referee and one linesman.

Still, Hershey insisted on drawing penalties. The Bandits' Steve Butsayev cashed in to make it 5-0, then tallied again to make it 6-0 with an even-strength tally. Norris scored on the fifth power play by the Bandits late in the period and Baltimore left the ice after two periods with a 7-0 lead.

Bandits today

Opponent: Hershey Bears

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 1 p.m.

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

Outlook: The Bandits were pressuring the Bears for second place in the Southern Division at the AHL All-Star Game break, but again have slipped back after three losses last week. In their only previous visit to Baltimore, the Bears romped, 5-2, in November. Hershey was in a 2-9-1 funk before a 5-1-1 run over the past two weeks.

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