The Buffalo Bandits kicked off their 2015 campaign this past weekend with a 12-8 loss Friday night to the newly relocated New England Black Wolves. For those who follow lacrosse, the Black Wolves are the former Philadelphia Wings who folded after last season. The Bandits though did return home the following night to take on the Edmonton Rush at First Niagara Center. Being back in front of the home crowd sparked the Bandits who picked up their first win of the season, beating the Rush 9-8.
Going in to the first game of the season, the Bandits were ready to get the ball rolling with a win, but the Black Wolves had a different idea. The Bandits were handed a 12-8 loss on opening night and were single handedly beat by Black Wolves’ player Kyle Buchanan who scored four goals, Patrick Saunders who added a hat trick and Kevin Crowley who lead all scorer, collecting two goals and three assists in the win. Dhane Smith, Mark Steenhuis, Ryan Benesch and the legend John Tavares all had goals for the Bandits in the loss.
Opening with a loss was not what the Bandits had in mind. The Bandits shot themselves in the foot in this one because of penalties the team took. Discipline is a huge thing in every sport, because if your team takes penalty after penalty, you’re giving the opposing chance after chance. If the Bandits are going to want to be successful this season, which is something head coach Troy Cordingley will have to work on with his team.
The Bandits flew home right after the game to prepare for their home opener the following night. The black and orange welcomed the Edmonton Rush to the First Niagara Center Saturday night and sent them home with a loss. The Bandits, in front of their home faithful handed the Rush a 9-8 loss. Bandits leading scorer from 2014 Ryan Benesch, had a huge game collecting five goals in the win, including four straight goals for the Bandits. Steenhuis and Dhane Smith also picked up their third goals of the season. Head coach Troy Cordingley was very happy with his team defensively even though the team blew their lead but were able to hold on for the win.
The Bandits who are now 1-1 on the season with a long road ahead, are off this weekend but return to action next Saturday when they travel to the Langley Events Center in Vancouver to take on the Stealth on the 17th. The Bandits then travel up the QEW to Toronto to take on the Rock at the Air Canada Center on the 23rd before returning home to take on the Swarm from Minnesota on the 30th.
Ryan Dickman ~ @ryandickman