Stevenson gives Bandits a lift, 4-2 Two odd, short goals help defeat Portland

February 17, 1996|By Dan Hickling | Dan Hickling,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

PORTLAND, Maine -- Baltimore Bandits wing Jeremy Stevenson has some advice for would-be goal-scorers.

"It you want to score goals," he said, "go to the center of the net."

Stevenson, who hadn't scored since Dec. 28, took his own instruction last night. He broke his 18-game drought with two goals -- including the game-winner -- as the Bandits skated out of Portland with a 4-2 victory.

The seeds for the win were planted midway through the second period. The score was tied 1-1 and the Bandits' Mike Maneluk was serving a 10-minute misconduct penalty.

Out of necessity, Baltimore coach Walt Kyle plugged Stevenson onto a line with Dwayne Norris and Chris Herperger.

"When Maneluk took that penalty," said Kyle, "it gave me a chance to try something new."

With the Bandits working hard around the Portland net, Herperger picked up the puck and dropped it back to Nikolai Tsulygin, who blasted it on Portland goalie Ron Tugnutt.

Tugnutt made the save, but didn't see the puck lying at his feet, and Stevenson jammed it in.

"I was crossing the net," said Stevenson, "and I think that [Nor

ris] screened the goalie. I didn't want to shoot it, so I just hit it, and it went in."

The goal traveled all of six inches. His second went little farther.

Steve Poapst put Portland into a 2-2 tie at 4:23 of the third with the Pirates holding a two-man advantage. But four minutes later, Stevenson found himself in the right spot again.

Herperger fished the puck out of a tangle behind the net, and got it to Stevenson, who banked it in off Tugnutt's thigh.

Said Kyle: "What he did was simple. He just went to the net."

Portland pulled Tugnutt with 1:02 to play, but couldn't get a shot at goalie Mike O'Neill. Sean Pronger scored an empty-netter with 13 seconds to play.

Bandits .1 1 2 -- 4

Portland 1 0 1 -- 2

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