Bandits still have no answer to Falcons Springfield makes it three in row with a 2-1 victory

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Over the past nine days, the Baltimore Bandits have learned they can match the Springfield Falcons on defense and in 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 the Springfield Civic Center.

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

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

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; they're now 0-18-2 when behind after two sessions.

Jim Campbell scored the Bandits' goal at 15:26 of the first period to end Legace's shutout streak at 145 minutes and 55 seconds. Legace was fresh off back-to-back shutouts over Worcester and leads the AHL with a 2.10 goals-against average.

The Falcons climbed out of their recent 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 with a long pass at mid-ice.

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

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