WORCESTER, Mass. -- Leave it to a guy with no goals this season to get the one that broke the Bandits' six-game winless streak.
Leave it to a Massachusetts boy to break the hearts of 11,591 of his fellow statesmen.
Leave it to Andy Silverman, who shocked a near-capacity Centrum crowd when he poked in the game-winner with 16.3 seconds left last night to give the Bandits a 3-2 win over the Worcester IceCats.
That gave Baltimore its first victory of 1997, after going 0-4-2 in six previous tries.
As the game clock ticked toward the end of regulation with the teams tied at 2, it seemed that they would have to wait for the first win of the new year.
"We were playing well [enough to win]," said Silverman, who is from Beverly, which is about a two-hour drive from here. "The scoreboard wasn't indicating it."
What it did show, as the Bandits moved into the Worcester end, was just enough time for a final foray before overtime.
Bandits center Chris Herperger moved the puck down the left side, then suddenly cut around the IceCats net.
As he re-emerged, he pushed the puck toward Silverman who had moved in from his right defense position. Silverman just managed to squeeze it past Worcester goalie Travis Scott.
"I just decided to jump into the rush," said Silverman. "It was forming on the left side, but I was alone on the right. He [Herperger] saw me as he was going around the net and got the puck to me. I didn't want to call out to him, because I didn't want draw any attention."
The goal was a full reward for a Bandits team that had played well enough to win in both of the two-game road swing against strong New England Division opponents. They had held Springfield to a 3-3 tie Friday.
"We scratch and claw and play hard for the full 60 minutes," said Bandits coach Moe Mantha.
The score was tied at 1 after a first period in which both teams put forth a brisk effort.
Bobby Wren's goal at 17: 18, his seventh, brought the Bandits into the tie.
A tripping penalty to Worcester's Chris Kenady just 13 seconds into the second period put the Bandits on their first power play, and Mike Leclerc cashed in with his 15th of the season at 1: 29, giving the Bandits a 2-1 lead.
But Daniel Guerard tied it back up, picking up a rebound just outside the crease after Askey had stopped Bob Lachance at 10: 43.
Rookie goalie Tom Askey registered 30 saves for the Bandits.
Opponent: Providence Bruins
Site: Baltimore Arena
Time: 5 p.m.
Radio: WWLG (1360 AM), WASA (1330 AM)
Outlook: The Bandits, 9-13-2 at home, hope a game in Albany last night and a long bus ride afterward took something out of the Bruins. Before last night, the Bandits were winless (0-4-2) since upsetting Hershey at the Arena on Dec. 30.