Scores come fast, furious, but Bandits end up subdued Binghamton is 7-6 winner in wild, no-defense game

February 20, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

When the Bandits and Binghamton Rangers get together, defense usually ends up about 15th on the priority list. Last night, it wasn't even that high.

The visiting Rangers had four leads, Baltimore had one and there were three ties before Binghamton prevailed, 7-6. Remember, we're talking hockey here, not the NBA.

The wild scoring display -- there were seven goals in the first 9:41 of the second period -- wasn't the only thing setting this game apart in negative fashion:

Both starting goalies, Mike O'Neill of the home team and Jamie Ram of the visitors, were yanked during the second-period shootout that saw the Bandits recover from a 2-1 deficit to take a 4-2 lead, only to see the Rangers score the next four goals to go ahead again, 6-4.

Some of the goals were not only soft, they were squishy.

"We didn't play a lick of defense and that's been our forte lately," said Baltimore coach Walt Kyle. Making matters worse, right after the game the team's top defensive defenseman, Jason Marshall, was called up to Anaheim. His place here will be taken by Oleg Miklulchuk of the Mighty Ducks, who was a minus-6 in four games here in November.

Conversely, Ram's early departure from Binghamton's net allowed him to get an early start for New York to join the Rangers, who lost goalie Mike Richter to a reinjured groin muscle.

"I saw a lot of tired mistakes out there," Binghamton coach George Burnett said. "While we were playing three games in three nights, the Bandits did have the middle day off, but they were traveling most of that day to get to our place."

Kyle blamed an eight-minute stretch midway through the game for his team's demise. "We gave them 39 shots and you can't do that against them. They've got some snipers."

NOTES: Last night's crowd of 3,131 raised the Bandits' total to 100,042 for 29 home dates. . . . The club already has sold 5,100 tickets for Friday's game against Providence. . . . The Bandits' seven-game homestand continues tomorrow against Hershey at 7 p.m.

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