Heading into a weekend matchup versus in-state rival Rochester Knighthawks (3-2), the eastern division leading Buffalo Bandits (5-1) are in the midst their longest winning streak of the new decade with five consecutive wins.
Buffalo’s unexpected success is largely attributable to the man between the pipes in Banditland, Anthony Cosmo.
The 14-year NLL veteran is making the most of his third season with the Bandits; currently leading the league in wins (5), while sitting second in saves made (252), and registering a top five goals against average (10.98).
Cosmo credits the Bandits’ staunch defensive core for a majority of his triumphs one third of the way through the 2014 regular season.
“We’re playing with a different confidence, a different swagger,” said the Mississauga, ON native. “We’re getting back to Bandit ball from when I remember playing against the Buffalo Bandits—mean but always disciplined—as a goaltender seeing that and playing behind that gives me the confidence that I need.”
In his first season at the helm as the Bandits bench boss, Troy Cordingley has witnessed the work ethic that has led to Cosmo’s successful 2014.
“He’s a professional and he took it upon himself in the off-season to get better, be in better shape, and do the things he needed to do,” said the Buffalo coach. “He’s been rewarded by it, he’s been outstanding.”
“I’m taking care of my body and taking care of my mind,” commented Cosmo regarding off-floor training. “We have a great sports psychologist who has helped me out quite a bit in turning things around.”
Whether the help of the Bandits defense or strict mental and physical off-season preparation, various factors have led to Cosmo’s stellar play. When asked to pinpoint a reason, the netminder himself is at somewhat of a loss.
“It’s just the game, I’m feeling good, sometimes there are a couple of saves I’ll make that I didn’t mean to make that when the confidence isn’t there somehow sneaks in; it’s just the way things are rolling right now and hopefully we continue this roll.”
Buffalo will look to make it six straight Saturday, February 8 at the Blue Cross Arena. Face-off is set for 7:30 pm.