Saturday, March 20, 1999
MIGHTY DUCKS 2, HERSHEY 1
Stevenson makes timely return
BY DAVE HELLER
Cincinnati Mighty Ducks right wing Jeremy Stevenson returned to the ice in Hollywood fashion Friday.
Making a comeback from reconstructive knee surgery, Stevenson scored the winning goal as the Ducks beat Hershey 2-1 at the Gardens.
Stevenson tore his anterior cruciate ligament Nov. 13, at which point both the Ducks and Stevenson thought his season was over. But four months later, Stevenson returned. With 7:34 to play in regulation, Stevenson put in a rebound off a shot by Anders Bjork to give the Ducks the lead. It was Stevenson's second goal of the season and first since Oct. 18, the fourth game of the season.
Everything that happened tonight is a bonus, Stevenson said. I worked really really hard for the last four months, so I'm thinking this is the payoff for me.
Stevenson, who worked out three hours a day, five days a week, was a little worried before playing for the first time in 53 games because he remembered Rice broke his kneecap when he returned to football.
But Stevenson didn't act too concerned once he got on the ice. With 2:11 to play in the first period, he got into a fight with Hershey's Chris Dingman. As he skated towards the locker room, Stevenson even pointed to the Bears bench, as if to say, You're next.
Stevenson drew a roughing penalty in the second when he shoved Serge Aubin to the ice.
Once the emotion is running through me and the adrenalin, I don't think about any of (the potential for injury, Stevenson said. Stevenson's knee stiffened after the game, and he is uncertain whether he'll be able to play in today's game.
Jamie Ram, who for the second straight home game heard boos from the home fans during pre-game introductions, allowed just one goal to earn his third straight win. Ram has allowed only two goals during the streak. The fans booing him when he gets introduced, that's not fair to him. I'm proud that he played well tonight, said Ducks coach Moe Man tha. Right now, Jamie Ram is on a hot streak.
The Ducks moved to within six points of third-place Hershey.
Hershey ....... 0 1 01
Cincinnati ....... 0 0 22
First period: None. Second period: 1, H, Lamoureux 15 (Gaul, Lazarev), 13:39. Third period: 2, C, Bjork 2 (Leclerc, Reichert), 1:25; 3, C, Stevenson 2 (Bjork, Briske), 12:26.
Shots on goal: Her 8-9-10=27; Cin 12-8-16=36. Power play opportunities: Her 0-3; Cin 0-2. Goalies: Her, Denis (16-18-5); Cin, Ram (13-16-1). Attendance: 4,611.
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NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT