Archive for the ‘Buffalo Bandits’ Category


NLL intensity on full display in Rochester

Buffalo's games against Rochester usually are intense, but there was something extra in the air in Saturday's playoff game against the Knighthawks. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Buffalo's games against Rochester usually are intense, but there was something extra in the air in Saturday's playoff game against the Knighthawks. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The National Lacrosse League season didn’t quite end the way the Buffalo Bandits and their fans wanted it to. And it was almost cruel the way hope was raised with the team being 1 goal away from a championship berth after the Bandits took an 8-game losing streak — and not much hope — into the postseason. But as we’ve noted before, and probably will again, the undeniable temper of this new postseason format and the intensity seen in both series last weekend was superb. “Saturday’s game in Rochester was at the least one of the most dramatic sporting events I have ever attended,” wrote Budd Bailey of the Buffalo News, who has covered sports for 35 years. “The tension in the building during that mini-game was amazing … Obviously all sports have their dramatic moments, particularly when everything is on the line. But I was somewhat unprepared for how this particular game in Rochester played out.” And there’s just 1 testimonial. Can the NLL get an amen?


NLL East Division final: Vitarelli’s OT winner sends Knighthawks to Champions Cup

Cory Vitarelli (centre) celebrates his East-Division finals clinching goal with Johnny Powless (left) and Joe Walters. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Cory Vitarelli (centre) celebrates his East-Division finals clinching goal with Johnny Powless (left) and Joe Walters. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Another day, another mini game, another thrilling ending to a National Lacrosse League division final. Friday night it was the Calgary Roughnecks pulling out the West Division. Last night, the Rochester Knighthawks took the regulation game 13-8 then won the mini-game to book their tickets to the Champions Cup when Cory Vitarelli ripped a shot from his off side over Anthony Cosmo’s shoulder to give the Knighthawks a 2-1 overtime win over the Buffalo Bandits and the East Division title.

It took over half of the 10-minute game before anyone could find the back of the net. Joe Resetarits snuck a shot from the high slot just under the left leg of Matt Vinc to give the Bandits the lead at the 5:22 mark. A couple of minutes later, Joel McReady pinballed off defenders as he drove to the net and tucked the ball behind Cosmo to tie things up. READ MORE »


NLL Division Finals Game 2 + Tie-Breaker Staff Picks

Will it be another OT thriller when the Roughnecks and Rush face off in game two of the West Division Finals Friday in Edmonton. (Photo: Brad Watson)
Will it be another OT thriller when the Roughnecks and Rush face off in game two of the West Division Finals Friday in Edmonton. (Photo: Brad Watson)

The 2014 NLL Champions Cup will see a team from New York go up against a team from Alberta as the Division Finals pits Buffalo against Rochester in the East and Calgary against Edmonton in the West.

Each division pair have faced off four times in the regular season, with the higher ranked Rochester Knighthawks and Edmonton Rush winning three of the four games against the Buffalo Bandits and Calgary Roughnecks respectively. Hands up if you saw the Bandits and Roughnecks taking game one. Yeah, me neither. But man, they were two good games. The Rush and Knighthawks hope to use the home field to their advantage in game two and force tie-breakers.
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East Division finals: Game 2 tests Buffalo’s momentum against Rochester’s desperation

Steve Priolo and Buffalo's defense held Rochester's defense in check last week. Can they do it again? (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Steve Priolo and Buffalo's defense held Rochester's defense in check last week. Can they do it again? (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

If there’s one thing the Buffalo Bandits learned during their 8-game losing streak earlier this season, it’s humility. That’s just part of the battle during adversity like that and now that the Bandits are riding a 2-game playoff winning streak into Saturday’s Game 2 of the East Division finals against the Rochester Knighthawks, they know what to expect. From Rochester, and themselves. “We know going into Rochester … that it’s one of the toughest things to do,” Buffalo assistant coach Dan Teat said. “We’ve got to prepare better and not just be waiting for opportunities; we’ve got to try and create our own. In their arena, they tend to get the crowd behind them and get things going early.” Did you catch the key part of Teat’s comment there? The Bandits need to create opportunities, not sit back and wait for them to appear. The Knighthawks know this too, because they saw it happen first-hand in the Game 1 loss last weekend. And they’re determined to take advantage of playing the deciding game on their home floor. READ MORE »


Who Ya Got? NLL Division Finals Game 2 and Potential Tie-Breakers

Can the K'Hawks run away with a win when they return home for game two of the East Division Final on Saturday? (Photo: Micheline V)
Can the K'Hawks run away with a win when they return home for game two of the East Division Final on Saturday? (Photo: Micheline V)

Will home field advantage be the deciding factor in the NLL race for the Champions Cup? It would sure seem so after the hometown Bandits and Roughnecks picked up game one wins in the Division Finals last weekend.

In New York, the lead went from Rochester to Buffalo and back to Rochester at the end of each quarter and despite being shut out in the third, the Bandits scored six in the final frame, picking up their first win at home since March 15th. The Knighthawks have won both regular season games against the Bandits played in Rochester this season; can they use that to their advantage as game two goes down Saturday in Roch?

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Video: Tavares dunk goal well worth a look

John Tavares has scored a lot of great goals in his illustrious career. This may be as good as any of them. Tavares got four in the Bandits win last night and this is the one everyone was talking about. READ MORE »


Bandits upset Knighthawks with 12-8 win at home in East finals opener

Mark Steenhuis celebrates one of his four goals that helped Buffalo down the Knighthawks. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Mark Steenhuis celebrates one of his four goals that helped Buffalo down the Knighthawks. (Photo: Bill Wippert)

The Buffalo Bandits two all-time playoff scoring leaders did it again Saturday night. John Tavares had 4 goals and 2 assists and Mark Steenhuis 4 goals and 3 assists to lead the Bandits to a 12-8 upset of the Rochester Knighthawks in the opening game of the National Lacrosse League’s East Division finals. In a game of runs, the Bandits won because they had the last one, scoring the final 5 goals of the game. Dhane Smith added a hat trick and a pair of assists for Buffalo. Dan Dawson, Cody Jamieson and Cory Vitarelli each scored twice to lead the Knighthawks, with Dawson and Jamieson each adding 3 assists. READ MORE »


NLL Division Finals Game One Staff Picks

Curtis Dickson and the Calgary Roughnecks host top seed Edmonton Rush in game one of the West Division Finals Saturday. (Photo: Cristan Anderson)
Curtis Dickson and the Calgary Roughnecks host top seed Edmonton Rush in game one of the West Division Finals Saturday. (Photo: Cristan Anderson)

The 2014 NLL Champions Cup will see a team from New York go up against a team from Alberta as the Division Finals pit Buffalo against Rochester in the East and Calgary against Edmonton in the West.

Each division pair have faced off four times in the regular season, with the higher ranked Rochester Knighthawks and Edmonton Rush winning three of the four games against the Buffalo Bandits and Calgary Roughnecks respectively. Game one goes Saturday evening in Buffalo and Calgary, game two is next weekend in Rochester and Edmonton.
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Who Ya Got? NLL Division Finals Game One

The Buffalo Bandits host 2014 scoring leader Cody Jamieson and the Rochester Knighthawks Saturday in game one of the East Division finals. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
The Buffalo Bandits host 2014 scoring leader Cody Jamieson and the Rochester Knighthawks Saturday in game one of the East Division finals. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

If last weekend’s NLL division semi-finals games weren’t textbook edge-of-your seat action I don’t know what is.

The Buffalo Bandits, who had been on an eight-game losing skid, were ready for a battle last Saturday in Toronto, scoring fast and often, leading the Rock after both the first and second quarters. Tied at the end of the third, the Bandits escaped their fourth quarter meltdown, outscoring their opponents, finally getting a win, and now hosting the Rochester Knighthawks in game one of the East Division finals this coming Saturday.

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Evans’ overtime winner sends Roughnecks to win over Mammoth, Bandits get back to winning

Shawn Evans scored the overtime winner to send Calgary on to the West final. (Photo: Brad Watson)
Shawn Evans scored the overtime winner to send Calgary on to the West final. (Photo: Brad Watson)

The Calgary Roughnecks and Buffalo Bandits are moving on to the division finals in the National Lacrosse League playoffs after they each secured opening-round wins in a pair of high-scoring games Saturday night. Calgary had to go to overtime then scored on their first shot once they got there. Shawn Evans spun off a check and ripped home an outside shot at 1:23 of the extra frame to send the Roughnecks on to the West Division final series against the Edmonton Rush starting next weekend in Calgary with a 16-15 win over the Colorado Mammoth. In Toronto, the Bandits ended the eight-game losing streak on which they wrapped up the regular season, downing the Rock 15-13 behind a 7-goal, 3-assist night from Ryan Benesch. They move on to face the Rochester Knighthawks in the East Division final starting in Buffalo next weekend. READ MORE »