Bandits earn 3-3 tie, gain playoff ground Torchia keeps Fredericton in check with 40 saves

March 18, 1996|By Bill Hunt | Bill Hunt,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick - The Baltimore Bandits came to Fredericton yesterday afternoon and stole something very valuable a single point in the American Hockey League standings.

Newly acquired goaltender Mike Torchia overcame a shaky start to make 40 stops and center Kimbi Daniels scored the tying goal with 2: 34 left in regulation to help the Bandits salvage a 3-3 tie before 3,101 fans.

The Bandits improved to 25-33-9, one point better than Carolina and one back of Syracuse, the two teams the Bandits are battling for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.

Torchia and the Bandits spotted the Canadiens a 2-0 lead on goals by Craig Conroy it actually caromed off the skate of the Bandits' Dennis Lambert at 4: 24 and another by Serge Roberge his first in two seasons at 6: 27 of the first period.

But the Bandits responded with Dwayne Norris beating goalkeeper Patrick LaBrecque with a wrist shot at 14: 54 and Lambert's goal on a 5-on-3 power play 1: 21 into the second period.

It looked as if Pierre Sevigny's power play at 15: 25 of the second might stand up for the winning goal until Daniels, playing in just his fifth game for the Bandits since his call-up from the East Coast Hockey League, took a drop pass from Mike Maneluk and fired a 30-foot wrist shot low past the blocker of LaBrecque.

"It was an excellent play from Bobby Marshall," said Daniels. "He moved up quickly to Mike Maneluk. He and Dwayne made a nice criss-cross and left the puck for me and I just went in and finished it off.

"It was important for us to get at least one point and we sure went after the second point in the overtime."

Indeed, the Bandits had the best chances in the five-minute sudden-death session, outshooting the Canadiens, 3-1, and only couple of solid saves by LaBrecque denied them the second point.

"It's an important point for us, with both Carolina and Syracuse chasing us, and it's something for us to build on for the next game," said Torchia, suiting up for his fifth team this season and making his first appearance in relief of the league's busiest goaltender, veteran Mike O'Neill.

Pub Date: 3/18/96

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