After the Bandits failed on a couple of early power-play tries and longtime Baltimore nemesis Mitch Lamoureux scored for Providence midway through the first period, it looked as if it would be a long night for the home team and the second-largest crowd of the season (7,058).
Baltimore's record at the Arena (10-16-4 entering) didn't appear to be cause for overwhelming confidence, either.
Then the Bandits began to roll. Denny Lambert tied the game 82 seconds later, linemates Slava Butsayev and Steve King setting him up. Lambert scored later in the period and the teams left the ice at 2-2.
The Butsayev line was just getting warmed up on the way to the Bandits' 7-4 victory. The center put the Bandits ahead for good seven minutes into the second period, and King made it a three-goal lead late in the period.
After Providence closed within two goals late in the second period, the Bandits' defense tightened up, made it tough for the Bruins to make it through the neutral zone without a fight and King netted his 24th goal to make this one almost a laugher.
King scored into an empty net with 23 seconds remaining for his hat trick, and the right wing had an assist. Lambert went for two goals and two assists and Butsayev a goal and four assists. Shades of the Punch Line of Dwayne Norris, J. F. Jomphe and Mike Maneluk earlier in the season.
NOTES: The Bandits are borrowing D Brian Goudie from Richmond of the ECHL. He piled up 293 penalty minutes in 44 games for the Renegades, but had a plus-14 defensive rating. . . . Coach Walt Kyle had the luxury of sitting out four players, a franchise record. . . . C Brendan Flynn of the Bruins is the son of Ray Flynn, former mayor of Boston and now ambassador to the Vatican who was MVP of a National Invitation Tournament during his basketball days at Providence College.