Game 2 of the 2019 NLL Finals is fast approaching. It’s going to be a showdown between the Buffalo Bandits and the Calgary Roughnecks with everything on the line. With the NCAA semifinals on Saturday as well, it’s going to be a great day for lacrosse.
2019 NLL Finals: Game 2
5/25 at the Scotiabank Saddledome
Despite having the loud and supportive Banditland crowd on their side, the home field advantage was not enough to boost the Bandits to a win. Now they must go into the equally loud Saddledome where the Roughnecks faithful will be there in force to give their team all the help they can get.
Can the Bandits pull out the win on the road?
After everything this team has shown during the season the regular season, this is a Bandits squad that is built for a game like this. It all starts with Matt Vinc who had a great game in Game 1 despite the score. If he can continue to play lights out he will give his team the chance to win. The Bandits offense now has a game under their belt against the Roughnecks defense and with a week to prepare they have the opportunity to throw some new things at them or to find the small openings they may not have seen in Game 1. It is unlikely that Dhane Smith, Shawn Evans, Corey Small, and the rest of this deadly offense can be held to under 10 goals again.
The Calgary Roughnecks are one win away from hoisting the NLL Trophy and will have to play similar to Game 1 if they want to be celebrating at the end of Game 2. The play of Christian Del Bianco will be a huge factor again because if he can continue to frustrate the Bandits’ shooters than he will give Dane Dobbie and the offense the chances they need to score. In Game 1 Tyler Burton won some huge faceoffs to stop Buffalo’s momentum in the second half and he will need to win 50% or more of the faceoffs to keep the ball out of the Bandits’ sticks especially at the end of the game. Playing at home in front of their own fans could also give the Roughnecks the boost they need to end this series.
Prediction: Buffalo wins 11-9
Game 2 will be another tight game and I think the Bandits will find a way to win like they did throughout the regular season to send the series to Game 3.
Who do you think will win Game 2?