NLL: Wings can’t get past strong Bandits team in Thursday tilt

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Buffalo Bandits came to Philadelphia on Thursday night and continued to show why they are one of the strongest teams in the league. They displayed the kind of offensive, defensive and goaltending prowess they have shown this season. The scoreboard showed 17-12; but it was all Buffalo.Buffalo jumped up 7-2 in the first quarter and the Philadelphia boos rained down. The second quarter was not the offensive thriller Wings’ fans were hoping for. Buffalo scored three times to Philadelphia’s one. The third quarter saw Buffalo going up 4-2. The Wings outscored Buffalo in quarter four scoring seven to Buffalo’s single marker.  The most impressive thing of the night was that 14 Buffalo players had at least one goal or assist. Chase Fraser finished with four goals for the Bandits. Kyle Buchanan had three goals and two assists. Dhane Smith powered in two goals while also adding five assists.  With a team as strong and powerful, it is no surprise that 14 different players added points. This is a team that is different from Buffalo teams in the past. The off-ball movement is spectacular. Every guy on the offense is a threat. The defense is large and tough. Philadelphia just could not compete—although quarter four showed some life.  It was a tough day to be a goaltender in Philadelphia wearing the gold W. Zach Higgins seemed to struggle and was replaced by Angus Goodleaf. Higgins would earn the loss; one of the rare games that he struggled this season.For Philadelphia, Blaze Riorden had a hat tick and an assist. Kevin Crowley had two goals and four assists.  The offense needs to find a way to continue to crash the crease. It seemed like they figured out that the can’t keep wailing the ball at the goal from all the way out.  The Wings also need to figure out resets. This was something Paul Day addressed in the press conference: “The first half especially the first quarter we had four resets—multiple resets in their end; but the ball didn’t fall. It was a 2-3 game at one point so we need to keep attacking on that—keep playing through it. Sometimes, offensive guys, it’s all about confidence—defensive guys not so much—it’s not about confidence, it’s the attitude. If you have a good attitude, you can play good defense.”Philadelphia will need to keep the positives from the end of the game fresh in their heads as they take on New York on Long Island on Saturday. Buffalo also has a quick turn around as they face Colorado on Saturday in a jam packed NLL weekend.