Buffalo Bandits vs Toronto Rock – 25/02/2017

The night began with Buffalo taking a quick 2-0 lead in just three minutes. Despite that score it’s still a hard fighting game between long time rivals.

Toronto shows some signs of life with a transition goal by Phil Caputo at 11:51 with the second assist going to goalie Nick Rose. Shortly after though, Buffalo goes on a power play and Brad Self bounces one home which makes it 3-1. Then, in the span of 3 minutes Challen Rogers, Dan Lintner (PPG) and Turner Evans (PPG) find the net to give Toronto it’s first lead of the night.

With just under four minutes remaining Buffalo got a big power play goal to tie it up. Great ball movement by Buffalo’s power play ending with a quick stick by Mitch Jones. Mark Steenhuis sneaked by the defence and gets one more with a good dish from Dhane Smith ending the quarter 5-4 Buffalo. Not the best quarter for the goalies.

2nd Quarter

The Bandits fall victim to their penalty habits and start the quarter 3v5. Because of this Turner Evans evens things up at 5 but Mitch Jones scores 13 seconds later to completely kill Toronto’s momentum.

Things start to become physical in the 2nd quarter as both teams scrum it out. Buffalo continues to score but gives Toronto a chance by taking penalties. The Rock go on a run and score three goals to take the lead with 5:26 to play in the half.

Unfortunately, Toronto takes a penalty and the Bandits convert of the power play with a tic tac toe quick stick. Toronto really peppered Buffalo’s goalie Anthony Cosmo. Cosmo had more saves (16) in the second quarter then Nick Rose did in the 1st +2nd (6+5). End of first half, 8-8.

3rd Quarter

With only 13 seconds in Buffalo takes a sloppy penalty and the Rock’s power play converts with a snipe no look dish by Stephan Leblanc at 13:30. But just like in the other quarters, Buffalo counters with less than a minute later on another nice cut by Mark Steenhuis and dish from Dhane Smith.

For the next 6 minutes there’s some great Box Lacrosse being played. Offences are giving it their all with defences and fighting hard to shut them down, both goalies giving their teams a chance.

The Bandits then break away half way through with two goals in 20 seconds. The Rock not really known for giving up gets a big snipe from Brett Hickey to close out the quarter 11-10 Buffalo.

4th Quarter

Now it’s time for the battle of the defences. Both teams playing like it’s a tie game, no goals and tight lacrosse for the first 9 minutes.

Brett Hickey opens up the scoring in the fourth with a transition goal to tie it all up. Then, like twice before this game, the Bandit’s bury a momentum killer to take the lead. For the next three minutes it becomes the battle of the goalies with big saves coming from Nick Rose and Anthony Cosmo. Toronto’s Brodie Merrill then scores a transition goal to tie it all up at 12.

For the next three minutes both teams give everything they got without getting any penalties knowing the game is close. It all started with a big save from Cosmo at 2:48 remaining that lead to an Alex Kedoh-Hill drive and bury, 13-12. Less than a minute later the Bandits show their skill with a tic tac toe goal. Eventually Dhane Smith would get the empty netter to close it out 15-12.

1st Star: Mitch Jones (BUF)

2nd Star: Blaze Riorden (BUF)

3rd Star: Brett Hickey (TOR)