Bandits get handle on Phantoms again, 4-2 Baltimore beats leaders for 2nd time in 3 games

March 03, 1997|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

Hockey is an emotional game, which goes a long way toward explaining all the fights.

No sooner did the Bandits skate off the Baltimore Arena ice with a prized 4-2 victory over the powerful Philadelphia Phantoms last night than they were informed by team owner Mike Caggiano that the team is for sale.

"As soon as we got word," said coach Moe Mantha, "I told the guys, 'This has nothing to do with you. You're here to play hockey. All you guys have to worry about is making it up to the Anaheim roster.' "

Meanwhile, if the Bandits, had played with the verve and dash they did while beating Philly twice recently on a consistent basis, the crowds and cash flow might have been better.

After being pummeled by the Phantoms five times by an average margin of more than three goals, the Bandits beat up on the league leaders in Philadelphia 10 days ago, outplayed them and lost, 5-4, here last Thursday and prevailed yesterday after trailing 1-0.

As has happened so many times in the last several weeks, Bobby Wren was the man who led the offensive charge for the Bandits. He set up Mike Leclerc's 21st goal to tie the game at 1-1 late in the second period. Then, after the Bandits had taken the lead on Chris Herperger's 18th goal at 19: 35 and the Phantoms had tied it early in the third period, Wren won it with his 17th tally.

"The puck came from behind our net to Leclerc," Wren said, "and he pushed it ahead to me at the red line. I had a one-on-one, so as soon as the defenseman made his move to me, I slid the puck under his stick, went left and picked it up and put it top shelf."

Bandits tonight

Opponent: Rochester Americans

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 7: 30 p.m.

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

Outlook: The Bandits have played Empire State Division foes very well (7-4-3) and have beaten Rochester twice, both times 6-3. This will be the Bandits' last home game for nearly four weeks. After being off for seven days, they embark on a 10-game road trek.

Pub Date: 3/03/97

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