Bandits waste leads, tie IceCats, 3-3 Norris, Jomphe, Pronger score for Baltimore


During their game against the Worcester IceCats last night at the Baltimore Arena, the Bandits enjoyed three leads -- the exact number they gave away as the teams skated to a 3-3 tie.

As a result, it was one of those it-could-have-been-a-lot-worse nights in the home locker room as bigwigs from the parent Mighty Ducks of Anaheim wandered hither and yon.

"Our defensive play was good, we kept them under 30 shots and we haven't lost in three games [2-0-1]," coach Walt Kyle said, rattling off the positives.

"Of course, it would have been nice to have that extra point [the difference between a win and a tie]," said Kyle. "But with all the brass around, there were a lot of nervous guys out there."

Meanwhile, down the hall, IceCats coach Jim Roberts was happy with the tie. Why not? His team had lost its last five road games and carried a 3-11-2 mark as travelers.

"We can't score," he said. "We've had a production problem all season. And we don't seem to be as intense in our play away from home."

Not so you could tell last night. Every time the Bandits would forge ahead, wham, there was an IceCat tying the score.

The teams matched goals in the first period, Dwayne Norris getting his 17th for Baltimore, Shaun Kane his third for the visitors. J. F. Jomphe (13) scored for the Bandits and Dave Roberts for the visitors in the second.

On the Bandits' second power play of the evening, Sean Pronger (8) scored what looked for 20 minutes of playing time to be the winning goal. Fred Knipscheer (19) tied it again with 4:33 remaining. The Bandits had the best scoring chance during the extra session, but goalie Mike Buzak was easily up to the challenge.

Actually, the home team squandered quite a few opportunities throughout but, again, the coach charged it off to nerves. That and the fact a decent line of late, Slava Butsayev, Jeremy Stevenson and Pete Leboutillier, was turn asunder as Stevenson started a six-game suspension for leaving the bench to fight last Saturday in Worcester, and Leboutillier was tossed out of the game as a third-man-in-a-melee instigator.

NOTES: G Byron Penstock has returned to backup duty here from Raleigh (ECHL) as Bob Bell is returned to Tallahassee (ECHL). . . . Fans on hand last night (announced at 2,512) can avail themselves of a future Bandits game free by showing their ticket stub. . . . Tickets for last Sunday's postponed game against Rochester can be exchanged for any future Bandits game. No makeup date has been set. . . . A sports card show will accompany the Bandits' next home game against the Portland Pirates on Jan. 21. . . . The Bandits play a pair at Carolina (Greensboro) tomorrow and Sunday before a four-day break for the AHL All-Star Game in Hershey, Pa., on Tuesday.

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