Bandits still have no answer to Falcons Lose for third time against Springfield, 2-1

February 03, 1996|By Fran Sypek | Fran Sypek,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- During the past nine days, the Baltimore Bandits have learned they can match the Springfield Falcons in defense and goaltending.

They just can't beat them.

Last night, the Falcons earned their third victory in as many American Hockey League games against the Bandits, winning, 2-1, before 3,387 at Springfield Civic Center.

The Falcons defeated the Bandits, 1-0, at Baltimore Arena on Jan. 24 behind Scott Langkow's shutout. Last night, it was Manny Legace's turn to beat Baltimore, making 25 saves.

It was another frustrating loss for Bandits goalie Mike O'Neill, who finished with 16 saves.

"Mike O'Neill played real well for us," said Bandits coach Walt Kyle. "We just didn't bear down on our chances. Our power play lost the game tonight."

Sami Kapanen scored a short-handed goal and Kevin Smyth added a power-play goal, as the Falcons ended the Bandits' two-game winning streak.

The Falcons, who own a 17-point lead over the Worcester IceCats in the AHL's Northern Division, have been dominant when taking a lead into the final period. They're 21-1-2 when leading after two periods.

The Bandits, on the other hand, have been miserable when they trail after two periods: 0-18-2.

Jim Campbell scored the Bandits' goal at 15:26 of the first period to end Legace's shutout streak at 145 minutes, 55 seconds. Legace was fresh off back-to-back shutouts over Worcester.

The Falcons climbed out of their power-play rut when Smyth scored midway through the second period to break a 1-1 tie. Springfield had been 2-for-20 on the power play in its previous four games.

The Falcons took a 1-0 lead 3:45 into the first period when Kapanen scored a short-handed goal. Legace started the play when he retrieved the puck behind the cage and hit a streaking Kapanen.

Kapanen sped into the Bandits' zone alone and placed a wrist shot past O'Neill's stick side.

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