PHILADELPHIA -- If there's something unlucky about the number 13, the Phantoms obviously don't know anything about it.
Bidding for their 13th straight victory at home last night, the Flyers' farmhands made short work of the Bandits with a suffocating 7-3 triumph. It was easier than it sounds.
Already three goals to the good after one period, Philly left little doubt as to its superiority on this occasion by outshooting the visitors 18-2 in the first 18 minutes of the second period.
Fact is, the Phantoms could have played the period without a goalie and been none the worse for wear.
Early on, Philly showed no clear advantage in its home digs, the Core- States Spectrum, going 2-2-1 out of the gate. Beginning with a 4-2 win over Baltimore on Oct. 30, however, the Phantoms, during their seven-week tear, have outscored the opposition 77-34.
"I love the way we started," said Phantoms coach Bill Barber. "We were forechecking great, getting the turnovers and we weren't giving them much chance."
Hardly a minute had gone by when the action took a dramatic turn Philly's way. Patrik Juhlin got out on a breakaway that Bandits goalie Tom Askey somehow stopped from the supine position. Juhlin would get his revenge, though.
A minute later, the home team was on the board via Shawn McCosh's 18th goal, a power play. Ex-Bandit Steven King and Juhlin netted their 15th and 11th goals, respectively, and only the end of the period stopped it from being worse.
No sooner had a power play ended at the start of the middle period than Juhlin lifted his 12th tally over Askey for a 4-0 Philly cushion. Colin Forbes picked up an unattended puck in the Bandits' end at 16: 18 to make it 5-0.
About the only thing in the visiting team's favor before a three-goal burst late was Askey's stopping a penalty shot awarded to Vaclav Prospal late in the second period.
"I have to give them credit," Barber said of the Bandits. "They were way down, but they battled for a goal, got a five-on-three power play and made a game of it.
"I'm demanding of my guys. I don't want to give up anything. I wanted to see us get a shutout, but they wouldn't let us. That's to their credit."
Trevor Senn and Valeri Karpov had their first goals for the Bandits and Sean Pronger bagged his 20th during the last 10 minutes of the contest.
NOTES: The Bandits' best patch of play this season, which encompassed wins over Hershey and Rochester and a tie with Hershey, ended with hardly a scoring chance. Philly's 144 goals in its first 33 games easily make it the best offensive team in the AHL. After starting slowly in the crowd department, the Phantoms are beginning to pack them in. Last night's attendance was 7,144; it only sounded like more. Afterward, the Bandits hit the road for a 7: 05 appointment in Binghamton tonight. The Phantoms' bus was less than a mile behind, headed for Rochester.
'Bandits .....0 0 3 -- 3
Philadelphia 3 2 2 -- 7
First period -- 1. Philadelphia, McCosh 18 (Rumble), 2: 21 pp; 2. Philadelphia, King 15 (Healey), 14: 16; 3. Philadelphia, Juhlin 11 (White, Healey), 17: 16. Penalties -- Leclerc B (tripping), 2: 11; Silverman B (Tripping), Prospal P ( slashing), 11: 01; 7: 33; Healey P (slashing), 14: 46; Reichert B (interference), 18: 49).
Second period -- 4. Philadelphia, Juhlin 12 (White, Darby), : 50; 5. Philadelphia, Forbes 7 (Stevens), 16: 18. Penalties -- McCosh P (holding stick), 2: 04; Gpudie B (interference), 10: 55; Senn B (fighting), MacIsaac P (fighting), 15: 48.
Third period -- 6. Philadelphia, White 21 (Darby, Coles), 8: 20pp; 7. Bandits, Senn 1 (LeBoutillier, Wren), 10: 06; 8. Bandits, Karpov 1 (Nikulin, Marshall), 12: 53pp; 9. Bandits, Pronger 20 (Karpov), 16: 36s-h; 10. Philadelphia, McCosh 19 (Forbes), 19: 49en. Penalties -- Sittler B (misconduct), 3: 04; Wren B (holding) , 7: 18; Brimanis P (interference), 11: 11; Staples P (tripping), 11: 54; Bench B ( too many on ice), 15: 43; Brimanis P (holding), 18: 25;
Shots on goal: Bandits 12-6-15-33; Philadelphia 12-19-12-43. Power-play opportunities: Bandits 1 of 6; Philadelphia 2 of 7. Goalies: Askey (4-5-1 43 shots, 37 saves; Little (10-5-3) 33 shots, 30 saves. Referee: Bernie DeGrace. Linesmen: Shaun Finn, Gary Madsen. A--7,144.
Opponent: Binghamton Rangers Site: Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton, N.Y.
Time: 7: 05
Radio: WWLG (1360 AM), WASA (1330 AM)
Outlook: The Rangers won their division last season, and now they're in last place in the Empire State Division and giving up the most goals in the league. They don't play defense, yet they got rid of defenseman Andy Silverman, who figures to be a mainstay for the Bandits.
Pub Date: 12/21/96