WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Baltimore Bandits' performance in losing 6-1 to the Worcester IceCats last night left much to be desired.
Baltimore was outshot 42-36. The defense let in numerous odd-man breaks on Bandits goalie Mike O'Neill, who added to his own troubles with a pair of soft goals.
Worcester, benefiting from the Bandits' troubles, got two goals from Jarett Deuling. Terry Virtue got a goal and three assists.
Both teams started cautiously, but late in the first period, the Bandits' defense opened up, and the IceCats scored three goals in 1:35.
With five minutes remaining, Baltimore's Darren Van Impe was whistled for a rarely called penalty for closing his hand on the puck. It took the IceCats' Fred Knipscheer just five seconds to capitalize, banging in Dave Roberts' cross-ice pass from the slot.
While O'Neill couldn't be faulted for that goal, he gave up a soft one to Craig Johnson just 53 seconds later, as Johnson put one on his pads from just inside the blue line.
Things got worse for the Bandits, who were outshot 18-11 in the period, when Deuling scored from close range.
"We're really vulnerable on defense right now," said Bandits coach Walt Kyle. "They took advantage of that and we started to panic."
The Bandits hope to shore up their blue line with the arrival tomorrow of 15-year NHL veteran Doug Crossman.
"We very much need an experienced guy to give us 30 minutes a game," Kyle said.
It got uglier for the Bandits less than a minute into the second period when Patrice Tardif beat Van Impe to a loose puck in the corner, moved in, and shot it past O'Neill.
Soon after, Baltimore went on the power play and seemed to be moving the puck well, with Jarrod Skalde testing Fichaud's glove hand. But Steven King was called for hooking, ending the Baltimore man advantage.
"It came back around," Kyle said. "That's indicative of what's been happening to us."
King, the Bandits' leading goal-scorer, later atoned when he bTC ripped in a shot from the slot for his sixth goal of the season.
"I wasn't down on our discipline," Kyle said. "And I thought our effort was good. But two things haunt us -- our defensive lapses and our inability to generate offense."