Brad Self Burns Former Team with Three Goals & Six Points; Bandits One Game Behind Toronto.
The Buffalo Bandits (4-6) hosted the Rochester Knighthawks (3-7) in the front end of a home and home weekend series and defeated the Knighthawks 13-9.
The Bandits won their third in a row in front of 14,475 fans Friday night as the rivals of I-90 separated by only 75 miles took to the field in this crucial battle for both teams. Both teams will meet again Saturday afternoon at 1pm, this time in Rochester.
Recently acquired forward Pat Saunders wasted no time as he registered an assist on both of the Bandits first quarter goals by Dhane Smith and Alex Kedoh-Hill. Kyle Jackson and Joe Resetarits netted goals for the Knighthawks as the first ended tied at two. Each team registered a power play goal in the quarter.
“Saunders was good for us. We know he can play,” said Bandits head coach Cordingley said in a post-game media scrum. “He had some good opportunities and he had a few shots that I was surprised didn’t drop.”
Saunders, who has had pit stops with Toronto and Rochester, finally had the chance to show he belongs in the NLL. In 2014 with Philadelphia, Saunders recorded 25 goals/39 points. In 2015 and 2016 he recorded 38 and 44 goals respectively and tallied 68 & 76 points as well. In 61 career games Saunders has 120 goals/94 assists. He is clutch on the power play having 20 goals and 31 assists.
“It was nice to get out there and get familiar with the guys and even nicer to get the win,” said Saunders. “I thought, as a unit, we performed really well.”
Jarrett Davis gave the Knighthawks an early second quarter lead. Craig England would tie it for Buffalo, and Saunders would score twice while Dawson would notch one for Rochester. Alex Kedoh-Hill would finish the scoring for the first half and Buffalo would lead 6-4.
Kyle Jackson would pull Rochester within one at 1:14 of the third, but Mitch DeSnoo would give Buffalo the two goal lead back. Buffalo would go on to score five of the next six goals that would stretch one minute into the final quarter. Rochester would score only once in 18:52.
Rochester would get close as Dan Dawson would score twice and Dan Lomas would net one to make the score 11-9 but ex-Knighthawk Brad Self and Mitch Jones scored 16 seconds apart to close the scoring.
With Rochester sitting at 3-7, every game is a must win right now. They can’t worry about other teams; they need to take care of their own business. Buffalo is 3-1 in their last four games, all against division rivals. They split an earlier home and home with New England, defeated Toronto last week, and tonight won the front end of the home and home with the Knighthawks.
Dan Dawson (3G/4A) and Kyle Jackson (2G/3A) led the scoring for Rochester.
For the Bandits, Brad Self (3G/3A), Dhane Smith (2G/5A), and Pat Saunders (2G/2A) led the attack.
Anthony Cosmo picked up the win stopping 41-50 shots, while Matt Vinc took the loss stopping 46-59 shots.
These teams face off again this afternoon at 1pm. We can look for the same type of game, and maybe for Rochester a different ending result.