The Buffalo Bandits gave the Rochester Knighthawks a taste of their own medicine on Saturday night. With Matt Vinc in goal, the Knighthawks understand fully how the play of a goalie can instill big confidence and momentum. That’s what Anthony Cosmo did for Buffalo in its 11-10 win, making 22 saves on 24 shots in the first half alone to keep the Knighthawks at bay while the Bandits put 6 on the board in the first half. “That may have been the best I’ve seen him play in a Bandit uniform,” Buffalo coach Troy Cordingley told the Buffalo News. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now. From the defense to the goalie, they are all on the same page.” As a result, the Bandits are also in first place in the National Lacrosse League’s East Division.
Buffalo’s 4-1 start is its best since starting the 2009 season with 5 straight wins and beyond the play of Cosmo, they’ve got a whole cast of characters to thank. John Tavares scored 4 goals, 2 of which came right after Rochester goals to stem any hope of a rally. Joe Resetarits scored 3, Ryan Benesch had 6 assists and Shawn Williams was 2-3 against his old team. Cosmo finished with 46 saves.
“Everyone calls us old, but it’s nice to have everyone contribute,” Tavares told the Buffalo News.
As nice as it is to win, there is the little matter of Rochester’s late surge.
“In the last five minutes we gave up two pretty quick and I think guys got a little scrambled, our bench got a little bit disorganized,” Cosmo told NLL.com. “It’s something for us to learn from. In this league, you can’t let up for five minutes.”
But from Rochester’s perspective, desperation is not a rallying cry it wants to rely on regularly.
“We were pressing and they were dropping for us,” Rochester coach Mike Hasen told NLL.com. “It’s good that we gave ourselves a chance, but they outplayed us for 55 minutes.”
The Bandits will look to protect their position at the top of the standings with the Toronto Rock coming to town on Saturday. The Rock were 12-10 losers in Buffalo just 2 weeks ago. Rochester, meanwhile, heads to Edmonton for a clash with the unbeaten Rush on Saturday.
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If there’s one place the Edmonton Rush should know how to win in, it’s the Langley Events Centre. Eight members of the Rush roster on Saturday night play their summer ball for the WLA’s Langley Thunder, and the LEC is where the Rush rallied big in the second half to beat the Stealth, 9-8. One of those players is goalie Brodie MacDonald, who came on in relief of starting goalie Aaron Bold to make 23 saves on 27 shots. “That’s the kind of goalie I know Brodie is,” said Stealth defenseman Mike Grimes, a Langley teammate of MacDonald’s. (The Province) … So John Grant Jr. scored a beauty of a goal in OT to beat the Calgary Roughnecks, but that’s not the stat coach Curt Malawsky is worried about. It’s the 8 power plays Colorado had during regulation. “We took a lot of penalties — I know they only scored one — but those four guys are consistently on the floor. Every time you trail, you have to stick your neck out, you have to take a risk, and that’s what happened to us. You chase your tail and you make mistakes.” (Calgary Herald).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 email@example.com or go to RochesterSports.com.
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