Bandits knock out Rangers, 10-1 Hosts rout Binghamton in a game more suited to the ring than rink

November 30, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

As Bandits owner Mike Caggiano was walking by a concession stand last night after two periods and with his team ahead, 7-1, a fan turned, spotted him and hollered, "Great, you got us some goons."

Other patrons turned and cheered wildly. "They were going crazy down there," said Caggiano.

Maybe the Bandits should have held up play for an hour or two, giving the 3,576 fans in attendance at the Baltimore Arena a chance to go out, round up friends and bring them back to what ended up being a 10-1 party for the home team.

You can talk all you want about how the beauty of hockey goes out the window when the gloves drop and the fists come up, but the plain fact is the folks watching this one wouldn't have left for anything short of a tidal wave being reported five minutes away at the Inner Harbor.

"Just like the other night in Rochester [a 6-3 win], we played great team hockey," said coach Moe Mantha. "And maybe just as important, we stuck up for each other."

How whacky and totally captivating was this one? There were 10 fights. Even goalies Tom Askey and Dan Cloutier skated cross-country to join the fisticuffs, thus earning ejections.

Binghamton scored first, then the Bandits answered with 10 goals, a club record. The Rangers had 139 minutes in penalties, while the Bandits showed relatively good behavior with a paltry 107.

The visitors were already in deep trouble, trailing 5-1, when they picked up two quick penalties to put the Bandits on a 5-on-3. Naturally, the home team scored.

"After playing as a team last weekend," said Rangers coach George Burnett, "We were embarrassed in Providence [a 6-1 loss], and now this one.

"Things get out of hand once in a while, but we have a case of too many guys on this team doing things for personal reasons or whatever. Some players are going to see some changes in the number of minutes they play."

After looking at the work of his two goalies the last two nights, Burnett said, "If I had a third goalie, he'd be in there."

Now this break for some hockey news: Craig Reichert had the Bandits' first goal, his fifth, then assisted on all five second-period goals. Linemate Sean Pronger had a hat trick (goals 12, 13, 14) and three assists.

Now back to the good stuff: After Askey was kicked out, Mike Bales took over in the Bandits' goal and went 12 minutes before the visitors sent a shot his way. In 16 minutes, he faced just two shots as the Rangers completely forgot what the object of the game was and looked to scrap.

"While we were playing the game," said Mantha, "some of their guys were completely off base. I just hope the league takes note and proper action is taken."

The Rangers were without two of their best players, leading scorer Chris Ferraro (knee problem) and regular captain Ken Gernander (broken hand). Chances are even they couldn't have talked some of their mates into reasonably civil behavior.

Bandits tonight

Opponent: Hershey Bears

Site: Hersheypark Arena

Time: 7: 30

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

Outlook: Bleak. The Bears have nearly doubled the Bandits' point total (34-18) and have had a clear edge in the four games between the rivals, winning by at least two goals each time.

Pub Date: 11/30/96

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