Buffalo Bandits Continue Climb in East with Two Big Wins: NLL Week 9 Recap

Ron KnabenbauerCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2011

Rochester's Sid Smith (left) and Buffalo's Tom Montour fight for the ball during a faceoff in Saturday's game (Credit: Chris Scherrer).
Rochester's Sid Smith (left) and Buffalo's Tom Montour fight for the ball during a faceoff in Saturday's game (Credit: Chris Scherrer).

In front of a sold out HSBC Arena, the Buffalo Bandits gave their fans something to cheer about.

Buffalo and the Rochester Knighthawks played a tight first three quarter, but the Bandits scored five goals in the third to pull away for the 11-8 victory on Saturday night in Buffalo.

"Best defense we’ve played all year, complete game, the guys really did well," said Bandits head coach Darris Kilgour.

Buffalo goaltender Mike Thompson stopped 40 of Rochester’s 48 shots in the win to improve his overall record to 5-1 on the year.

Roger Vyse and Mark Steenhuis each finished with two goals and three assists for the Bandits while teammate Brett Bucktooth finished with three goals and one assist. Bucktooth scored his hat trick in only four shots on goal.

Bucktooth’s former teammate at Syracuse University, Cody Jamieson, scored twice for Rochester, but it was Jordan Hall that led the Knighthawks in scoring as he found the back of the cage three times while adding three assists as well.

Matt Vinc finished with 42 saves on 53 shots in net for the Knighhawks. 

Rochester thought they had their first second-half lead when Scott Campbell scored at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the goal was disallowed after Buffalo challenged the call. 

The no goal changed the momentum of the contest, giving Buffalo the edge they needed to finish the game and the Knighthawks.

"We've got to go back and regroup a little bit," said Rochester head coach Mike Hasen after the game. "It's tough when silly things are missed, but we have to battle through that." 

Rochester will have the chance to rebound in three weeks when they host the Philadelphia Wings in their second to last home game of the season. The K-hawks and Wings will play on Mar. 26 at 7:30 p.m. EST at Blue Cross Arena. 

The Bandits will now play the Blazers twice in the next seven days, on Sunday in Boston and on Mar. 12 in Buffalo.

Now here is a look at the other five Week 9 National Lacrosse League games.


Buffalo Scores Late To Put Out Blazers

The Boston Blazers scored four straight goals to tie the game at eight in the fourth quarter, but Clay Hill scored the game winner for the Bandits with four minutes left to give Buffalo the 9-8 victory on Sunday at TD Garden in Boston.

"The first 45 minutes were not pretty, you saw a team that has been off for 16 days and didn't do too much during that time,” said Boston head coach Matt Sawyer.

"We have to try and focus on the positives; we have a quick turnaround here. We play these guys next week. We are going to look at how we battled in the fourth quarter."

The Bandits and the Blazers will play each other again on Saturday in what will sure be another exciting affair.

Dan Dawson finished with five goals and two assists while Ryan Dilks, Sean Morris and Nick Cotter also scored for the Blazers.

John Tavares led the Bandits on the scoresheet with three goals while Mark Steenhuis found the back of the net twice.


Mammoth Lose Home Heartbreaker

No matter what the Colorado Mammoth do, they can’t seem to get a win at home.

The Mammoth lost their 13 straight home game on Friday as the Minnesota Swarm won 11-10 in at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Colorado’s Alex Gajic scored his fourth of the game with 38 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 10, but Ryan Benesch quickly ended the contest in overtime, scoring 33 seconds into the period.

John Grant Jr. finished with two goals and five assists for the Mammoth while Chris Levis made 31 saves in net.

Andrew Watt led the Swarm in scoring with three goals while Benesch and former Mammoth player Jamie Shewchuk finished with two goals apiece. Nick Patterson finished with 38 saves in goal for Minnesota.

Colorado will look to get back in the win column for the first time in seven games when they take on the Boston Blazers in three weeks. Minnesota’s next game will be on Mar. 25 against Edmonton.


Rock Stay Perfect at Home with Win Over Wings 

The Philadelphia Wings were hoping that the second time against the NLL leading Toronto Rock would be the charm. It wasn’t.

Stephan Leblanc and Blaine Manning led the Rock with three goals each as Toronto defeated Philadelphia 15-10 on Friday night at the Air Canada Centre. The Rock are now 6-0 at home this season.

"Toronto is very good and we played well at times, but we had some lapses that they capitalized on," said Philadelphia head coach John Tucker. "It seemed that we just break down at inopportune times.”

The Rock and the Wings played each other in Week eight with Toronto winning 16-13.

Athan Iannucci led the Wings with four goals while teammates Matt Alrich and Alex Turner both had two goal nights.

Garrett Billings, Kasey Biernes and Pat Maddalena finished two goals each for Toronto.

The Rock will now have three weeks off until their next game when they head to Calgary on Mar. 26.


West Leading Roughnecks Give Wings Second Loss of Weekend 

A slow start for the Philadelphia Wings and a big third quarter by the Calgary Roughnecks helped give the Riggers the 13-7 victory on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly.

The Wings fell down 6-3 at halftime and could never recover as five different Roughnecks scored in the third quarter to extend their lead to six. Philadelphia only managed two goals in the third.

"We really wanted this one," said the Roughnecks forward Jeff Shattler, who finished with two goals and six assists. "We came out hard. I knew they'd come out fast early because they had legs from last night but in the third and fourth we kept dragging on them and dragging on them and we got the win."

Scott Ranger led Calgary in scoring with three goals while Curtis Dickson and Dane Dobbie both scored twice for the Riggers. Alex Turner and Brendan Mundorf both had two goals in the game for Philadelphia. 

The Wings’ next game will be on Mar. 26 against Rochester while the Roughnecks will play the Washington Stealth next Sunday.


Stealth Rout an Opponent for the Second Straight Week

It is safe to say that the Washington Stealth’s offense isn’t just heating up, but is on fire.

The Stealth defeated the Edmonton Rush 18-10 on Saturday at Rexall Place for their second straight win and first against the Rush this season. Washington has scored 38 goals in their last two games while giving up only 17.

"Back-to-back great performances by us," said Washington head coach Chris Hall. "Our offensive was really kind of firing on all cylinders again."

Washington’s Lewis Ratcliff led all scorers with four goals and five assists while Rhys Duch and Craig Conn both finished with three goal nights.

Corey Small led Edmonton with four goals and one assist while Gavin Prout had two goals and two assists.

The Stealth will look to continue their climb in the West next week as they take on the division leading Roughnecks on Sunday. Edmonton will play the Roughnecks on Mar. 19 in Calgary.


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