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Buffalo Bandits Pull Ahead Late to Defeat Philly

Fans braved a snow storm last Saturday night to watch the Buffalo Bandits defeat the Philadelphia Wings 14-10 in a back-and-forth game that was the second meeting between the teams this season.

There may have been a blizzard outside of Keybank Center, but the Buffalo Bandits were on fire early in this game. They scored eight goals in the first half, including a ridiculous goal by Jordan Durston.

The Buffalo Bandits seemed to be in control of the game until the Wings went on a big run in the third quarter that extended into the beginning of the fourth to tie the game at 10-10. Shawn Evans then played the role of hero and scored what would be the game winning goal as he came around the net and buried a shovel shot to the far corner.

LISTEN: Listen to this week’s Lacrosse Classified podcast with Barstool Jordie and Mitch Jones of the Vancouver Warriors as they sit down with hosts Jake Elliott and Evan Schemenauer here.

Bandits announcer John Gurtler exclaimed, “Thank heavens for Shawn Evans!” which, honestly, is probably what all of Banditland was thinking at that moment. The Bandits would go one to score three more insurance goals and defeat the Wings for the second time in this young NLL season.

The Buffalo Bandits’ offense was led by Dhane Smith with eight points, Corey Small with six, and Evans and Thomas Hoggarth both finishing with four. Defenders Ian MacKay and Ethan O’Connor also got into the mix, scoring a goal each. The offense showed poise late in the game as Philly made their comeback. With the amount of firepower the Bandits have they didn’t have any trouble finding the back of the net when they really needed to.

Matt Vinc and the Bandits defense were solid again and Vinc broke another record as he became the NLL’s all time leader in minutes played for a goaltender during the first quarter of the game.

The only concerning part of the game was the Bandits let the Wings back into it as Trevor Baptiste won faceoff after faceoff. The defense didn’t have an answer for the likes of Kevin Crowley and Kiel Matisz. The Wings have yet to win a game and almost came out of Banditland with the victory. The Bandits were able to stop the run and come up with some big stops, but if they let this happen against a team like Georgia, New England, Toronto, or Saskatchewan they will be in trouble.

The Buffalo Bandits will face their biggest test of the season so far as they play back-to-back games this weekend against Rochester on Saturday and New England on Sunday. The Knighthawks will be looking for revenge against the Bandits from their loss earlier in the season and the Black Wolves will be trying to prove that they are a top team as they are riding a three-game winning streak. The Bandits can get two statement wins if they can power through this long weekend.