Bandits end busy weekend with tie Rally from 2-goal deficit knots Worcester, 3-3, in regular-season finale here

April 14, 1997|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The nicest thing Worcester IceCats coach Greg Gilbert had to say about his team after yesterday's 3-3 overtime tie with the Bandits at Baltimore Arena was: "We were a disgrace, the way we played."

Good thing it wasn't a loss.

It wasn't so much that Worcester had a chance to capture the American Hockey League's New England Division title over Springfield with a win, but the manner in which the team blew a 3-1 lead and the way it has been playing lately.

"Stupid, selfish," were a couple of the words Gilbert used to describe his club's 0-3-1 slide. "If we keep playing like this, we won't be around long in the playoffs."

Gilbert's counterpart, Moe Mantha, was pleased after a long weekend during which his team locked up a postseason berth.

"It was a terrific weekend, a couple of wins over Philly and the tie today," he said. "All that in what, 45 hours? We're tired but it's a nice tired."

The Bandits scored the first goal, Mike Pomichter getting his first in his third game here at the 7: 47 mark of the opening period. As quickly as the IceCats could make it down the other end, they tied it, Jason Zent doing the honors 14 seconds later at 8: 01.

The visitors then dominated the second period, a pair of tallies by Konstantin Shafranov putting them up, 3-1.

"Then a guy [Bob Lachance] takes a dumb penalty [double minor for spearing] and gives them a goal in the last minute of the period. Awful," Gilbert said.

"We were playing so well and were really solid throughout much of the season. Now you can't get these guys to listen. It's an insult to the team and the coaching staff."

"He [Gilbert] certainly had a right to tee off on us today, the way we've been playing," said Worcester's Mike Maneluk, one of the key contributors to the Bandits' late-season charge last season.

After Bobby Wren had drawn the Bandits within a goal, Keith Aldridge got the marker that squared it midway through the third period. Despite Worcester's 17 shots in the third period and three in overtime, the Bandits were able to hang on, due mainly to Mike Bales' 37-stop effort in goal.

NOTES: The Bandits averaged 3,020 fans for 40 home dates, a drop of 580 from last season. With one game remaining (in Rochester tomorrow), the team has 71 points (29-40-10) and is 13th overall in the AHL standings. Last year's club finished 33-38-9 for 77 points and finished 14th. The Bandits were 13-22-5 on home ice after a 5-3-1 start this season.

Pub Date: 4/14/97

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