Bandits pay penalty in loss to Falcons 2 power-play goals in 3rd halt comeback bid, 7-4

March 20, 1997|By Fran Sypek | Fran Sypek,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- The Bandits couldn't stay out of the penalty box and paid dearly for it.

Kevin Brown scored two power-play goals 27 seconds apart during a five-minute major boarding penalty to Mike LeClerc, sparking the Springfield Falcons to a 7-4 American Hockey League victory over the Bandits last night.

A crowd of 3,431 watched the Falcons extend their unbeaten streak to 12 games at the Springfield Civic Center. They're 10-0-2 at home since a 4-3 loss to the Carolina Monarchs on Feb. 7.

The Bandits made it tough on the Falcons when Igor Kikulin scored twice during the third period to tie the score at 4.

"They're a hard-working team who nobody wants to play right now," Falcons coach Kevin McCarthy said. "We were fortunate to capitalize on our power plays."

The Bandits might have come away without allowing a power-play goal during LeClerc's major, but Andy Silverman was called for slashing at 15: 23 to give the Falcons a five-on-three power play.

Brown scored at 16: 02 and again at 16: 29 before Brian Mueller scored into an empty net.

"It was a frustrating way to lose a game," Bandits coach Moe Mantha said. "We played a pretty good road game."

The loss ended the Bandits' modest two-game winning streak, but they're still 3-2 halfway through their 10-game road trip.

The Falcons spotted the Bandits a 2-0 lead early in the first period. LeClerc and David Sacco scored goals 55 seconds apart in the first 5: 36.

Former Baltimore Skipjack Reggie Savage cut the lead to 2-1 with 3: 36 left in the period. After Bandits goalie Tom Askey made a point-blank save off Scott Levins, Savage poked the rebound between his legs.

Levins tied it at 2 at 4: 22 of the second period, and Chris Longo and Rob Murray followed with scores to give the Falcons a 4-2 lead after two periods.

Nikulin scored a power-play goal at 5: 40 of the third period to cut the Falcons' lead to 4-3 and struck again at 8: 05 to tie it at 4.

Bandits ...... 2 .. 0 .. 2 .. -- .. 4

Springfield .. 1 .. 3 .. 3 .. -- .. 7

Pub Date: 3/20/97

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