Dowling, Buffalo stop inexperienced Thunder Baltimore's youth shows as defending champion sets tempo, wins, 22-15

February 08, 1997|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Baltimore Thunder suffered more growing pains last night in a 22-15 loss to the Buffalo Bandits before 5,009 at the Baltimore Arena.

Baltimore made the mistakes of inexperience. The young Thunder squad allowed five short-handed goals, missed four penalty shots and did not take advantage of numerous extra-man situations.

This helped defending Major Indoor Lacrosse League champion Buffalo take control with first-half runs of five and six goals.

Thunder coach John Tucker said before the game that his young team is still coming together in many ways. The Thunder played well in several stretches, but Buffalo (2-2) always answered and kept Baltimore (0-4) winless.

"They came in here with a definite chip on their shoulder," said Tucker. "We fought for everything we had."

Tucker said giving up the short-handed goals and missing the penalty shots -- Rob Shek finally scored on one in the fourth period -- hurt the Thunder badly.

"That was really the difference in the game," said Tucker.

Ted Dowling led Buffalo with six goals and one assist. John Tavares added five goals and three assists, while Darris Kilgour had three goals and three assists.

Jeff Klodzen led Baltimore with five goals and two assists, and Ryan Wade scored three with one assist.

Both Buffalo and Baltimore had plenty of good chances to score as penalties were constantly called in a physical, brawl-filled affair that saw referees call 50 penalties for 155 minutes.

Both team topped their season totals for penalty minutes in this game alone. The Bandits were hit with 30 penalties for 95 minutes while Baltimore finished with 20 penalties for 60 minutes.

"The referees did not do a good job of controlling the game," said Buffalo coach Les Bartley. "They needed to control the game better early."

Buffalo used its strong checking and physical play to control the tempo in the first half. After the Thunder scored the first two goals, the Bandits dictated the pace with stingy defense.

The Bandits were able to keep possession for a good part of the first half. Their tight checking made finding shots tough for the Thunder, and they outshot Baltimore, 48-26, in the half.

Pub Date: 2/08/97

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