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Bandits lose comeback touch in 4-3 loss to Thoroughblades 3-goal hole is too deep; Baltimore 0-8-2 vs. Ky.

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Dramatic comeback victories two nights in a row?

Nah.

But at least it was close last night at Baltimore Arena, as the Bandits fell behind the Kentucky Thoroughblades by three goals early in the second period, then just missed making it all the way back before losing, 4-3.

Spotting the host Phantoms two goals Thursday night, the Bandits recovered for their first victory over Philadelphia this season.

It looked for a while as if the home team might pull out another unlikely victory last night, but, instead, it fell to 0-8-2 against the Thoroughblades.

Down 4-2 after two periods, the Bandits closed within one on Bobby Wren's 16th goal, at 1: 22 of the third. From that point on, they outshot Kentucky 18-5 but couldn't beat Lance Leslie, who raised his record to 2-6-1, both victories coming against Baltimore.

"It all came down to us going brain dead for the first six minutes of the second period," Bandits coach Moe Mantha said.

"All of us just got away from doing the things we have to do to be successful. It was only, what, 10 percent of the game? But that's all it takes sometimes."

The teams traded goals in the second half of the first period, Ville Peltonen getting his 14th for the visitors and Ryan Gillis doing the honors for the Bandits.

Preliminary warnings that this was to be a defensive struggle vanished almost as soon as the puck was dropped for the second 20 minutes.

Iain Fraser got his 26th goal after just 16 seconds for the Thoroughblades and teammate Jan Caloun his 28th three minutes later.

Kentucky made it a run of three straight goals when Jarrett Deuling bagged his 11th at 6: 01. Dave Sacco, who had missed a couple of chances earlier for the Bandits, got his 10th goal before the midpoint of the session before the teams decided to try playing defense for a change.

$ (AHL standings, 12C)

Pub Date: 2/22/97

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