Archive for the ‘Buffalo Bandits’ Category


Mammoth complete National Lacrosse League playoff field

Matt Vinc stopped 45 of the 49 shots he faced as Rochester beat Buffalo 8-4. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Matt Vinc stopped 45 of the 49 shots he faced as Rochester beat Buffalo 8-4. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The Colorado Mammoth  (7-10) made sure they were headed to the playoffs by putting up their biggest offensive output of the year in an 18-12 win over the Minnesota Swarm (4-13). Colorado clinched third place in the West Division and a first-round playoff date in Calgary by scoring at least 4 goals in each quarter against the Swarm, despite being outshot 63-48 in the game. Everything just seemed to find a way behind the Minnesota goaltenders, especially in the fourth quarter when the Mammoth scored 5 goals on just nine shots.

Athan Iannucci led all scorers with 8 points on 2 goals and 6 assists. Adam Jones scored 4 goals–including one on the power play and one shorthanded–and added as assist. John Grant Jr. had a hat trick and 2 assists. The first goal was a big one as it was the 600th of his career, making him just the third player ever to reach that milestone (along with Gary Gait and John Tavares). Logan Schuss led the way for the Swarm with 4 goals and 3 assists. READ MORE »


Rock defeat Bandits to keep alive hopes of hosting first-round NLL playoff game

Stephan Leblanc and Rob Hellyer again had big nights as the Toronto Rock won their third straight game. (Photo: Graig Abel)
Stephan Leblanc and Rob Hellyer again had big nights as the Toronto Rock won their third straight game. (Photo: Graig Abel)

The Toronto Rock (8-9) are getting hot at the right time while the Buffalo Bandits (8-8) desperately need to change the path they’re on. Toronto won its third straight game with a 13-9 victory over the Bandits, who dropped their sixth in a row to tie the franchise-record losing streak they set last year. The Rock have allowed just 9 goals in each of their three straight wins while it was the fifth time in the six straight losses that Buffalo has scored fewer than 10 times. Stephan Leblanc and Kevin Ross each had hat tricks and Rob Hellyer continued his stellar play with a goal and 6 assists for the Rock, who were without Garrett Billings (out for the season with an ACL tear) and Josh Sanderson (flu) on the offensive end of the floor. John Tavares was the only multiple-goal scorer for the Bandits with two and he added a pair of assists. Nick Rose got the start in goal for Toronto and was excellent, stopping 48 of the 57 shots he faced. READ MORE »


NLL Week 17 Staff Picks

Win and they're in! With a W over the Swarm on Saturday the Mammoth secure the NLL's last playoff berth. (Photo: Alex Carroll)
Win and they're in! With a W over the Swarm on Saturday the Mammoth secure the NLL's last playoff berth. (Photo: Alex Carroll)

There are five games in week 17 of the NLL, four of which hold playoff implications with Vancouver and Colorado fighting for the last spot in the West Division and Buffalo and Toronto going head to head for a home playoff game in the East Division.

The Bandits (8-7) have defeated the Rock (7-9) by a score of 12-10 twice this season, once in Buffalo, once in Toronto. On Friday, the Bandits return to Toronto looking to snap a five game losing skid and sweep the series. Also on the line? A home playoff game; if Buffalo wins they’ll host Toronto in Banditland.
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John Tavares: ‘Writing is on the wall that you can’t go on too much farther’

Bandits forward John Tavares, at age 45, says retirement has crossed his mind. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Bandits forward John Tavares, at age 45, says retirement has crossed his mind. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

As graceful as he is during lacrosse games, John Tavares is just as smooth in avoiding direct answers whenever the topic of retirement comes up. And when you’re 45 years old and old enough to be the father of some teammates, it comes up often. But last week, Tavares was a healthy scratch and he came out of the week off with some perspective. “It puts a question in my mind,” Tavares told the Buffalo News. “It hits you in your confidence. At 45, the writing is on the wall that you can’t go on too much farther.” Injuries in the past couple of seasons have slowed Tavares and while not playing last summer helped him heal, he felt behind the game when he reported to Bandits camp last fall. He went so far as to say he feels he’s in the way at times. But even with these thoughts going through his head, Tavares said he’s got to keep focused on helping the Bandits end their 5-game losing streak. “The last five games, I’ve struggled and the team has struggled. … I feel like I’m at the same pace the team is. I’m part of the problem.”


Who Ya Got? NLL Week 17 Fan Poll

They'll meet Friday and again in the playoffs, but will that be in Buffalo or Toronto? A Bandits W this weekend secures a home playoff berth. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
They'll meet Friday and again in the playoffs, but will that be in Buffalo or Toronto? A Bandits W this weekend secures a home playoff berth. (Photo: Bill Wippert)

Will it be the Stealth or Mammoth? Only one spot remains in the NLL playoffs.

Competing in a close game two weeks ago, the Colorado Mammoth did the (seemingly) unimaginable last Friday by handing the Edmonton Rush their first loss of the season. Trading goals for most of the game, the Toronto Rock netted the game winner early in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia on Saturday to secure the third and final East Division playoff berth and eliminate the Wings from contention. It wasn’t an OT winner like in week 13, but it was the second 10-9 W for the Minnesota Swarm over the Buffalo Bandits this season.
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Rock and Bandits are two teams heading in opposite directions, but with the same goal

Brandon Miller (centre) and the Rock will try to keep their roll going against Buffalo this Friday. (Photo: Graig Abel)
Brandon Miller (centre) and the Rock will try to keep their roll going against Buffalo this Friday. (Photo: Graig Abel)

Once again this weekend, the Toronto Rock are playing in the National Lacrosse League game most fraught with playoff implications. Last week, they beat the Philadelphia Wings to earn a berth in the postseason. Now, second place and a home playoff date are at stake as the Rock play host to the Buffalo Bandits. It would take more than just a win Friday night to secure second for the Rock, but a loss ensures that they’ll be travelling to Buffalo to open the playoffs rather than making the short trip to the friendly confines of the Air Canada Centre. READ MORE »


Toronto Rock clinch playoff spot with 10-9 win over Philadelphia Wings

Brandon Miller was sensational for the Toronto Rock in their playoff-clinching win. (Photo: Graig Abel)
Brandon Miller was sensational for the Toronto Rock in their playoff-clinching win. (Photo: Graig Abel)

The Toronto Rock (7-9) clarified the playoff picture and muddied it a bit at the same time, pulling out a 10-9 win over the Philadelphia Wings (5-11) to clinch the third and final playoff spot in the National Lacrosse League’s East Division. With the Buffalo Bandits (8-7) losing by the same 10-9 score to the Minnesota Swarm (4-12), Toronto creeps closer to the Bandits in the battle for second place and the chance to host a first-round playoff game. In last night’s other games, the Rochester Knighthawks (12-4) downed the Vancouver Stealth (4-11) 10-7 and the Edmonton Rush (15-1) got right back on the winning track after losing Friday for the first time this year. Edmonton took a 15-11 win over the Calgary Roughnecks (10-6). READ MORE »


NLL Week 16 Staff Picks

The third Battle of Alberta goes down Saturday as the undefeated Rush face the Roughnecks in Calgary. (Photo: Brad Watson)
The third Battle of Alberta goes down Saturday as the undefeated Rush face the Roughnecks in Calgary. (Photo: Brad Watson)

Five games in week 16 of the NLL. Four playoff berths secured. Three more weeks in the regular season. Two more playoff spots up for grabs. One thrilling weekend.

Already clinching the West Division title and 2014 top overall seed, the Edmonton Rush (14-0) start their two game road trip against the Mammoth (5-10) in Colorado on Friday night before returning north of the border to face the Calgary Roughnecks (10-5) on Saturday for the third Battle of Alberta this season. In the first two games, the Rush outscored the Roughnecks 30-15.
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Tavares takes career goal No. 800 in stride

John Tavares (11) celebrated his 800th career NLL goal with the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday night. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
John Tavares (11) celebrated his 800th career NLL goal with the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday night. (Photo: Bill Wippert)

John Tavares scored his 800th National Lacrosse League goal last Saturday for the Buffalo Bandits. As impressive as that is, it’s not a record, really, because Tavares long ago passed Gary Gait’s old record of 635 career goals so every goal Tavares scores these days is a record. Tavares is a humble man and doesn’t like to talk about his achievements because to him, he’s just doing what he loves to do. And while he downplays the achievement, crediting it to being in the NLL for so long, it doesn’t keep others from pouring on the praise. “John always morphed his game to suit his age or injuries,” Edmonton Rush coach/GM Derek Keenan told Neil Stevens of the Canadian Press. “He’s a smart player,” says Troy Cordingley, current coach of the Bandits who also was a teammate in Buffalo. “You have to try to outsmart him, which is pretty difficult.” Bob Hamley, just dismissed earlier this season as coach of the Colorado Mammoth, also is a former Bandits teammate of JT’s. “I consider lacrosse players to be competitive people but John was and is at another level when it comes to competing. You combine this with his on-floor intelligence and it made him what he is today. His drive and intelligence are unmatched.”


Who Ya Got? NLL Week 16 Fan Poll

The Wings touch down in Toronto Saturday for a game with huge playoff implications. (Photo: Graig Abel)
The Wings touch down in Toronto Saturday for a game with huge playoff implications. (Photo: Graig Abel)

The playoff race continues to intensify; Edmonton and Rochester are already in, Buffalo and Calgary punched their ticket last weekend, and now we’re down to five teams fighting for two berths.

Tied after the first, third, and fourth quarters, the Rochester Knighthawks started their home-and-home series against the Swarm with an overtime win in Minnesota on Friday. Back in Rochester on Saturday, the Knighthawks led the Swarm for the entire game, sweeping the series and putting more room between them and East Division second place Buffalo Bandits.
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