Bandits off mark, fall to Hershey Bears' 3-0 triumph is ninth in row

November 07, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

HERSHEY, Pa. -- The assignment was not only to stop Hershey's attempt to tie a club record for consecutive victories (nine), but to keep the Bears from scoring five goals as they had in all three of the victories over the Bandits this season.

Hey, one out of two isn't bad.

Playing about as well as they're able through the first 30 minutes last night, the Bandits weren't able to gain an advantage where it counted -- on the scoreboard -- and ultimately fell to the Bears, 3-0.

When Eric Messier scored on a power play shortly after the mid-point of the second period, it was only the second time Hershey had the man advantage although more than an hour in penalties had been called by that time.

On the other hand, the Bandits were 0-for-6 on the power play, which included six straight minutes of an extra skater at the start of the second period. At that point, the visitors had outshot the home team, 24-6.

When Kurt Miller deflected a shot over Mike Bales after 7: 22 of the third period and Rich Brennan added another six minutes later, the three-goal deficit must have looked insurmountable to the Bandits, who just couldn't get anything by Hershey goalie Petr Franek.

In actuality, the Bears deserved their record-tying triumph. They lost veteran Mike McHugh and Doug Friedman to game misconducts in the first period and they always seemed to be killing penalties. They were up to the task, though, with the Bandits helping by failing to create any traffic in front of the Hershey net.

What kind of a game was it, generally? Sean Proinger was receiving stiches between the second and third periods when Hershey goalie J-F Labbe happened by and warned, "You better not come out for the third period."

Then, too, goalie Bales, tired of being so far removed from the action, picked up a rare (for a goalie) roughing penalty in the third period.

Hershey came out in its usual walking start and the Bandits were all over them. They outshot the Bears, 14-6, in the first 20 minutes, but couldn't convert on two excellent opportunities against young goalie Franek, getting a rare start.

The teams didn't start out intent on doing bodily injury to each other, but the intensity of the play all but assured it would happen.

The first period ended with sticks and gloves all over the ice as the players went at it. It took referee Brad Watson about five minutes to figure it out and he wasn't very popular with the home crowd after his decision. The Bears picked up 24 minutes, double that of the visitors.

What it led to at the start of the second period was a minute power play for the Bandits, then a five-on-three for a minute, then two more minutes of power play. All for naught.

NOTE: The Bandits bused to Hamilton, Ontario, after the game and, after playing the Bulldogs tonight, are off for a week. Then they begin a four-game series against Carolina with home games Nov. 15-17 and games in Greensboro Nov. 21-22.

Bandits 0 0 0 -- 0

Hershey 0 1 2 -- 3

Bandits tonight

Opponent: Hamilton Bulldogs

Site: Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario

Time: 7: 30

Radio: WWLG (1360 AM), WASA (1330 AM)

Outlook: The Bulldogs have split their first 10 games despite being outscored by the opposition by more than a goal per game (34-23). They beat the Bandits in Baltimore the first weekend of the season, 3-2, but a few days later Mike Bales shut them out, 2-0, in their own building. Tough figuring this team.

Pub Date: 11/07/96

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