Potent Phantoms stick it to Bandits, 6-2 Penalties prove costly in loss to Philadelphia

February 14, 1997|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

,TC The 47-shot, 6-2 shelling Philadelphia laid on the Bandits last night at Baltimore Arena was not the Phantoms at their best.

In fact, veteran defenseman Darren Rumble, who picked up his 11th goal and two assists, went so far as to say the 33-13-7 club is in the midst of a slump.

"We were terrible when we lost to Syracuse [6-2 Wednesday night] and it carried over for the first two periods tonight," said Rumble.

At that point, Philadelphia led 3-2, but only because the Bandits were making a habit of taking unnecessary penalties.

"We got a bit of a verbal abusing [from coach Bill Barber] during the second intermission, and began pulling together after that," Rumble said.

"We didn't have a game for seven straight days and the coaching staff gave us two days off. The way we came back, maybe they're not going to do that again."

Then again, an 80-game season is supposed to include peaks and valleys and the Phantoms just haven't had any of the latter. The Syracuse loss ended their unbeaten home streak streak at 21 games (20-0-1). And last night's win got them to 11-10-5 on the road.

Maybe a simple check of the league statistics should have been included in the pre-game preparations of the home team.

The numbers showed that avoiding penalties was a must if the Bandits hoped to finally get a win against the potent visitors.

The Phantoms entered the game with the second-best power play in the American Hockey League and improved on their figures by hitting three straight man-advantage situations before mid-game.

After allowing two first-period goals, the Bandits pulled even early in the second period on goals by Mike Leclerc and Trevor Senn. But two minutes later, the Phantoms started their blitz of four unanswered goals.

Hopes of a second comeback by the Bandits dimmed when Craig Darby scored for Philadelphia at 1: 08 of the third period. Then the lights went out when Jeff Mitchell and Bruce Coles connected just nine seconds apart in mid-period.

The Phantoms have won all five games against the Bandits, outscoring them 26-9.

NOTES: Bobby Wren ran his point-scoring streak to nine games when he picked up his 17th assist on the goal that tied the game at 2 just before mid-game. D Bobby Marshall missed his first game of the season because of a death in his family. LW Leclerc is the only Bandit to dress for all 55 contests.

Philadelphia 2 1 3 -- 6

` Bandits 0 2 0 -- 2

Pub Date: 2/14/97

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