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Banditland: Bring On The Warriors

There’s a big game tonight in Banditland! The Buffalo Bandits will look to get back in the win column as they face the visiting Vancouver Warriors. But first let’s take a look back at the Bandits game against the Toronto Rock last Friday December 21st, which saw the Bandits fall to the Rock 17-12.

Last Week in Banditland

I was able to make it to the home opener and you could tell all the fans in attendance have been waiting to watch their Bandits play again after having to wait an extra few weeks because of the CBA negotiations. Matt Vinc got a big cheer when he ran out onto the floor for introductions in his first home game as a Bandit.

The Bandits started out of the gates red hot and took a 5-1 lead during the 1st Quarter off of 3 goals by Thomas Hoggarth, who is showing his knack for scoring in the dirty areas in front of the net.

Josh Bryne also had yet another diving goal as he is looking very comfortable at the start of his Sophomore season. Everyone goes wild for him in Banditland.

Despite looking good early, the Bandits started to fall apart after the Rock scored some goals in transition and started picking corners on Vinc on the Power Play as well as at Full Strength. Vinc would be replaced by backup Zach Higgins late in the 3rd Quarter.

There were a few occasions where the Bandits D looked like they were struggling to communicate and a Rock player was able to just walk in. The offense also became a bit stagnant and were definitely missing the presence of Dhane Smith, who sat out the game with an injury.

After the game, Captain Steve Priolo spoke of learning to work with Matt Vinc and Vinc learning to work with him and the rest of the Bandits D:

After a goal we bring it in, talk about it a little bit, and try to stop that same thing that just happened. Sometimes he goes I should’ve had that one, or have a switch, it could be something simple or nothing at all have some taps let’s go get em next time. It’s just nice to bring it in.

Getting Back On Track

The Bandits seem to still be putting the pieces together and will face their next challenge against Vancouver in the 2nd game of their 4 game home stand tonight at the KeyBank Center.

vancouver warriors v buffalo banditsThe former version of the Vancouver Warriors, the Vancouver Stealth, visited Banditland and defeated the Bandits last season in Overtime, but both these teams look very different this time around with the biggest changes being that Corey Small is now a Bandit and Mitch Jones is a Warrior.

Both players will be looking to have strong games against their former clubs. Buffalo and Vancouver both sit at 1-1 and will be looking for a big win to propel them into the their next stretch of games.

Dhane Smith will likely be a game time decision and the Bandits will be hopeful that he will make his return.

In their 3rd game of the season, look for the Bandits to play a more complete game as the Defense continues to gain more chemistry and the Offense buries more of their chances. The potential is there for a huge rest of the season.

Catch tonight’s action from Banditland on Bleacher Report Live.

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