The only thing certain about the American Hockey League playoffs as far as the Bandits are concerned is their likely opening-round series against the Phantoms will begin in Philadelphia April 19 at 1 p.m. in the Core- States Center. Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be the next day at 7 p.m., also at the home of the parent NHL Philadelphia Flyers.
Tentative dates for Games 3 and 4 (if necessary) in Baltimore are April 23 and 25. But Bandits owner Mike Caggiano, unable to obtain an early commitment for the dates from the Baltimore Arena, said he will seek permission from the AHL to play the home dates in Hershey, Pa.
As for the AHL's preliminary deadline for potential opponents to get their dates and times straightened out yesterday, however, league director of hockey operations Gordie Anziano said, "Sites and dates haven't been submitted by either Philadelphia or Baltimore yet, so there's nothing we can say."
After being blanked by Hershey, 4-0, at home (where else?) in mid-February, the Bandits were on a pace to set a record for fewest goals scored by an AHL team during an 80-game season, 224. Averaging 2.8 goals at the time, the club has been clicking at a 4.1 clip since while going 10-7-1 and has 227 goals with six games remaining.
For the second time this season, Adirondack center Paul Brousseau has won Player of the Week honors for his 4-37 performance while the Red Wings were winning three of four. He had a game-winning goal in overtime and assisted on another that won a game in overtime.
Bob Lachance of Worcester scored a natural hat trick (consecutive goals) in the third period as the IceCats came from behind to beat Springfield last Friday. Better yet, two of the tallies came with his team short-handed.
Now that it's almost time to say goodbye, the Bandits turned in their most productive and only winning month, going 7-5-1 and picking up 16 points in March. While Sundays have been a bust in the attendance department, the team carries a 9-8-1 record on that day.
Battle stations: Obviously, there's no love lost between Hamilton and St. John's. During a recent 2-2 tie, there were eight fights, 92 minutes in penalties, a half-dozen misconducts and three ejections; and, that was in the first 20 minutes, which ended scoreless. Who had time to shoot?
The AHL has arrived at the 3.43 million mark in attendance and is drawing 5,214 fans per game. With four home games left, the Bandits are looking to average at least 3,000 for their 40 Arena dates from their current reading of 3,085.
Pub Date: 4/02/97