The Buffalo Bandits will travel to Connecticut to take on the New England Blackwolves at 6 pm EST. The Bandits, following their thrilling 17-9 win over the Vancouver Stealth at home last night, have clinched a playoff berth. As a result, this also eliminated the Blackwolves from playoff contention.
While New England has had an up and down season, on the bright side, they’ve beaten the Bandits in the two times they have faced each other, and they will look to do the same tonight. New England is also coming off a Saturday night game, a game in which they lost at the hands of the Rochester Knighthawks 14-6 in Rochester. The Blackwolves will look to their offensive weapons in Pat Saunders and Kevin Buchanan to have big nights. I also think (despite their record) New England has some of the best one on one defenders in the league with players Mike Manley and Bill O’Brien. Manley especially seemed to lockdown the best offensemen the Bandits could throw at him, as evident by the Blackwolves win back in Week 14.
Since clinching a playoff birth last night, you can expect the Bandits to rest some of their star players. One would think Cordingley would sit Cosmo ad start Wagar instead, but in post-game interviews following last night’s game, Cosmo stated he intended to start. During back to backs, Tavares is almost always rested, so expect him to be a scratch, and anybody else that may have suffered minor injuries last night. Mark
Steenhuis had a huge night offensively, so I believe he could also have another huge night, maybe not the same seven goal performance, but a hat trick is definitely possible. Defensively the team is at their best they have been all season, so expect defensive stars like Billy D Smith and Steve Priolo to be on their toes.
This will definitely be a game of redemption for both teams. The Bandits have a bloody rivalry with them in this short season, and they don’t want to know going into the playoffs that they got season swept by a team in the bottom of the standings. The Blackwolves on the flipside really want to sweep the Bandits 3-0 on the season, that could be one of their few highlights of their inaugural season. Not to mention the Blackwolves have shown they are always a feisty and gritty team that never gives up. Expect this game to be a good battle (albeit with tired players, both teams coming off back to backs) with two teams playing for sweet redemption.