Askey holds off Crunch in Bandits' 4-1 victory Goalie's 40 saves spark first back-to-back wins in month

March 16, 1997|By Ed Gonser | Ed Gonser,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Bandits, behind a 40-save performance by Tom Askey, pulled out a 4-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch before 6,251 at the Onondaga County War Memorial last night.

"I stepped up my game tonight and so did every guy in here," said Askey, who stopped all but one of Syracuse's 41 shots. "It was a total team effort."

The Bandits had goals from Chris Herperger, Bob Wren, Mike LeClerc and Ryan Sittler. Sittler's empty-net goal at 19: 15 sealed the win for the Bandits. It was the first time since Feb. 20 that Baltimore has put together back-to-back wins.

Bandits coach Moe Mantha said of Askey's efforts: "We put him into a hot situation and he was able to rise to the occasion. We're fighting for a playoff spot, he's come in and done a heck of a job."

Syracuse coach Jack McIlhargey was miffed at the inability of his players to finish a play. McIlhargey said: "We sure are making a lot of the other teams' goalies look like all-stars." What McIlhargey is referring to is the recent Syracuse record that shows the Crunch at 1-8-3 in its last 12.

Baltimore put 26 shots on Syracuse goalie Frederic Cassivi.

Syracuse opened the scoring at 7: 42 of the first period on a goal by Robb Gordon.

The Crunch lead didn't last long. Herperger tied it just 29 seconds later, putting his own rebound past Cassivi at 8: 11.

Baltimore went up 2-1 at 15: 44, closing out the first-period scoring. Wren led a three-on-one break into the Crunch end on the play.

LeClerc put in the night's only power-play goal at 9: 33 of the second period. Frank Banham took the initial shot. Cassivi stopped Banham but the rebound rolled off his pads to LeClerc, who was standing at the left edge of the crease. LeClerc swept the puck into the open net to give the Bandits a 3-1 lead after two periods of play.

NOTES: LeClerc's goal and assist moves him into third place among rookies in scoring with 49 points and extends his scoring streak to four games. It was a homecoming for Bandits defenseman Brain Corcoran. Corcoran grew up just 10 miles outside of Syracuse in Baldwinsville.

Pub Date: 3/16/97

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