Saturday wasn’t exactly Family Night for the National Lacrosse League. The Bandits and Mammoth combined for 188 penalty minutes in Colorado’s 12-6 victory. And of those 188 PIM, 152 of them were assessed after a line brawl broke out in the final 30 seconds. “I think that was a little bit of frustration on our side,” Bandits defenseman Scott Self told NLL.com after the game. “We kind of let things slip away. It was pretty spontaneous.” It wasn’t much different in Philadelphia, where the Stealth won 16-10. The teams combined for 110 PIM, 61 of which came in the final minute. And Wings coach Johnny Mouradian was direct in his assessment. “I think it’s a very classless act of a head coach in this league to send players out to start a brawl when they are up on goals,” Mouradian told NLL.com, referring to the Stealth.
The loss snapped a 3-game win streak for the Wings and gave the Stealth their third straight. In Buffalo, the Mammoth brought an end to their 5-game skid and the Bandits, well, the Bandits are scratching their heads in trying to figure out how they could lose their fourth straight home game.
Buffalo coach Darris Kilgour knows, though. “We had no energy, no desire, no will to compete,” he told The Buffalo News.
If that’s true, then the Bandits actually got away with it for 3 quarters. They entered the fourth tied with the Mammoth, 6-6, but the Mammoth scored 6 unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to snap their 5-game losing streak.
“We’ve struggled on the game sheets. I thought we played well in the last three or four games, but they just weren’t dropping for us,” Colorado coach Bob Hamley told The Buffalo News. “Tonight we got some timely goals in the second half.”
Kilgour just can’t figure out why the Bandits lay eggs at home. Twice now they’ve lost by big margins, by 8 to Rochester on Feb. 9 and now by 6 to Colorado.
“I don’t know what’s been going on these last few games at home,” Kilgour told NLL.com. “We go play real strong in Toronto (on Feb. 28) and then come home and we’ve got no energy.”
The big question now is how will these lineups look for Saturday’s rematch in Colorado? Receiving match penalties, which carry an automatic 1-game suspension were Buffalo’s Nick Cotter, David Brock, Billy Dee Smith and Jimmy Purves. Receiving match penalties for Colorado were Richard Morgan, Ilija Gajic, Jon Sullivan and Chet Koneczny. Koneczny also received a gross misconduct penalty for the birds that he displayed to Buffalo fans and that’ll very likely bring further disciplinary action.
Each team bench received a gross misconduct at the end of the game as Kilgour and Colorado’s Ed Comeau exchanged some pleasantries. A couple of Bandits players said frustration in their lack of offense tightened the tension, but it was Colorado’s call of a timeout in the final minute that set everything off.
“Our guy was in trouble along the board with three guys on him,” Hamley told The Buffalo News in explaining why he made the call. “I wanted to save him from getting beaten.”
In Philadelphia, there were no match penalties handed out, although Philadelphia goalie Brandon Miller received a 10-minute game misconduct and a 2-minute minor for leaving the crease. It appears that Miller intervened in the tussle between teammate Joel White and Washington’s Matt Beers after White’s bucket was off but Beers’ wasn’t. Miller looked as though he was trying to remove Moleski’s lid, and the NLL rulebook calls for a 1-game suspension for any player intervening in a fight in progress.
An interesting NLL night, to be sure. We haven’t seen a lot of fights through the first half of the season, so maybe this was the steam blowing off the lid. Either way, the NLL suits are going to be plenty busy this week with plenty of video to review.
plus the links
The Washington Stealth won their third straight and they have 5 short-handed goals to thank for that in Saturday’s 16-10 win over Philadelphia. “Road wins are hard to come by in this league. We were able to pounce on them early and got a huge lead,” said Stealth coach Chris Hall. (StealthLax.com) … Having one of the loudest and supportive crowds in the NLL hasn’t helped the Bandits, at least for the last 4 home games, all losses. So maybe a trip to Colorado on Saturday will get the Bandits back in order. “I’m not sure what it is, to be honest. After a game like that it’s good to get back on floor as soon as possible. We’ve had some success on the road and maybe that’s what we need is a little bit of a road trip,” said defenseman Scott Self. (Bandits.com) … Colorado’s plan was to shoot — a lot — no matter what happened. The Mammoth outshot Buffalo 32-14 in the first half and 60-37 for the game and it paid off when the Mammoth scored 6 goals on 16 shots (37%) in the fourth quarte. “Our game-plan can’t change no matter what the score. We’ve got to keep peppering them with shots and we did that. We didn’t get fazed; we didn’t get discouraged and we battled through it,” said Hamley (ColoradoMammoth.com).Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RochesterSports.com.
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