The Buffalo Bandits will continue their west coast road trip tonight, visiting the Langley Events Centre to take on the Vancouver Stealth. Buffalo was able to score a much needed win against the Saskatchewan Rush in overtime last week, finally getting the team above the .500 hump. The Stealth on the other hand were on the losing end of a 11-10 nail biting comeback win by Colorado which ended up causing a large stir on social media after Alex Buque dumped the ball into his own net, seemingly without the referee noticing. That being said, the Stealth will try to put all the controversy behind them, and look onto this game against a visiting Buffalo Bandits
The Bandits probably weren’t too thrilled with how they got the win last week, but a win in overtime is a win nonetheless. Mitch Jones really seemed to have a breakout game last week scoring five goals including the OT game winner, so I’m sure Coach Tavares is thrilled about that coming from a young player like Jones. Dhane Smith week in and week out is putting up all star-like numbers and seemingly can’t be stopped. This is the first meeting between these two clubs in the 2016 season, so if there is ever an unpredictable game to see a player like Dhane Smith go up against an opposing defense, it’s this one.
Vancouver on paper seems to have a nice mix of youth and experience. They have an up and coming star like Logan Schuss who leads the team with 51 points, one of the better performing rookies in Jordan Durston who has adapted pretty well to the NLL style of game, and guys who have been around the league like Rhys Duch and Garrett Billings. The Stealth have struggled this season, but seem to get better each game they play. With the return of Tyler Richards between the pipes, the Stealth hope they have solved their goaltending nightmare from the beginning of the season that saw Chris Levis and Eric Penney split time in the net that saw little success. The last three games have been thrillers, all one goal games (two in OT), but saw the Stealth only coming out the victors in one 9 (2/20 vs. Calgary). The Stealth need to play a full 60 minutes of lacrosse and keep the hammer down to get past this Buffalo squad. If Anthony Cosmo is the starter for the Bandits, they need to fluster him right at the opening whistle. Saskatchewan was able to do this, and ended up scoring seemingly shot after shot in the opening minutes giving way to him getting pulled after the first quarter.
Both teams are looking for a big win to get some help in their respective division standings. With the way these two teams have been playing of late, suspect a high scoring affair that’ll come down to the wire. The opening face-off is set for 10:00 PM EST at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, BC.