Bandits-Rangers melee bad, not worst Teams far off penalty mark; Pronger's effort rewarded; AHL notebook


They might still be calling penalties after the wingding between the Bandits and Binghamton Rangers last Friday night. At game's end, the penalty minutes totaled 236. Then the number jumped to 256, then 263. While players were trooping off two-by-two, four-by-four and even six-by-six, the search was under way to find the AHL record for indiscretions.

This one didn't even come close, for on the night of Oct. 14, 1981, at Hersheypark Arena, the Bears and Adirondack Red Wings went for 520 minutes, the home team being assessed 256, the visitors 264.

It seems something incendiary happened during the warm-ups, a few dozen players took umbrage and the game started with about two-dozen misconduct penalties already on the books. A total of 16 fights and more misconduct penalties suggest the pre-game hostilities carried over to the game.

Player of the Week

The Bandits' Sean Pronger, off his hat trick last Friday and two goals against Hershey the next night and six goals and three assists in four games, was named the Sher-Wood Player of the Week. Through November, Pronger was tied for the league lead in goals (16), four of them being the first goal of a game, all within 80 seconds of the opening faceoff. As they say in the locker room, he comes ready to play.

The Carolina Monarchs know how to come out of a tailspin, that's for sure. Over the course of 10 days, they won a pair from the Bandits, 5-1 and 5-0, then crunched Syracuse, 5-3, after an 0-11-1 nightmare. Syracuse came back to beat Carolina, 4-1, Tuesday.

Hershey truly is the Big Bad Bears: The team is 11-1-0 against Mid-Atlantic Division foes, the lone loss coming in overtime. One of the things that makes Hershey so tough is its effectiveness in the third period, when games are won and lost. The Bears have outscored the opposition, 36-16, in the final 20 minutes of 26 games.

Stopper in Portland

Goalie Martin Brochu is stopping everything sent his way up in Portland. He's 9-2, with eight wins in a row before Wednesday's OT loss to Adirondack. He's an ex-Montreal Canadien whom the Washington Capitals picked up in trade, and he had a snappy 7-4 record with a 2.40 goals-against average during last year's Calder Cup playoffs.

Sometimes, personnel moves come so quickly and are of such short duration they don't even show up on the computer at AHL headquarters. For instance, Trevor Converse wandered in out of the mist from Johnstown of the East Coast Hockey League to join the Bandits in Hershey on Saturday night and the move didn't show on the league's roster changes for two days. Where's the Pony Express when you need it?

The Portland Pirates had 10-game winning and 13-game unbeaten streaks ended by the Springfield Falcons last weekend, and on Canadian national and New England regional TV, no less.

Painting a picture

Hockey analyst Bill Clement, doing an Anaheim-Chicago game on ESPN2, said: "The Ducks have two Picassos [Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne] and 20 house painters." No sooner were the words out of his mouth when Selanne stole the puck from Chris Chelios and flipped it to Kariya, who one-timed it into the Blackhawks' goal.

Saint John unloaded 29 shots on goal in the first period against Fredericton recently. The Flames must have punched themselves out because the game ended 2-2.

The Bandits were 4-5-2 in October and 5-8 in November, but, as one eternal optimist put it, take the six losses against Hershey away and the Bandits are 9-8-2 against the rest of the league.

P. Ferraro picks it up

As though things aren't bad enough in Binghamton, which is 7-12-5 and losing games like 10-1 in Baltimore, one of the Ferraro brothers, Chris, has a gimpy knee and is missing games. Pete picked up the slack somewhat by scoring in three of four games last week.

Three cheers for AHL referee Al Kimmel. He's known as a guy who lets them play.

It took the AHL just 205 games to reach the 1 million mark at the gate, the fewest games and earliest date (Nov. 30) that figure has been achieved in 61 seasons.

One of the new "he will fight" guys for the Bandits, Trevor Senn, has an unusual punching style: Both hands at once. He used it against a player from Binghamton, took him completely by surprise and posted a one-sided victory.

Bandits tonight

Opponent: Philadelphia Phantoms

Site: The Spectrum, Philadelphia

Time: 7: 05

Outlook: Ominous. The Phantoms are 10-2-1 at home, including eight wins in a row, and the Bandits are 3-9-1 as visitors. The Phantoms also have scored 36 more goals than the Bandits.

Capitals tonight

Opponent: Pittsburgh Penguins

Site: USAir Arena, Landover

Time: 7: 30

TV/Radio: HTS/WTEM (570 AM)

Outlook: Pittsburgh (9-13-3) extended its four-game unbeaten streak with a 4-2 win in Ottawa on Wednesday. Jaromir Jagr, who ranks seventh in the NHL in scoring, has nine goals in his last six games. Washington (13-12-1) is coming off its first back-to-back shutout losses at home since Nov. 8 and 11 of 1978. The Capitals, who have dropped three of their past four games, lost top scorer Peter Bondra to a groin-muscle strain in the first period of a 2-0 loss to Detroit on Wednesday.

Pub Date: 12/06/96

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