The Buffalo Bandits are at home for the second week in a row, this being part of a four game home stand for the orange and black. Friday night they host the Vancouver Warriors, and are hoping to give the home crowd a different outcome than last week, as they dropped their home opening game 17-12 against the Toronto Rock.
Last week, the Bandits seemed to come out strong, going up 5-1 to end the first quarter. However, breakdowns on both sides of the ball led to Toronto going on a huge run, and it seemed Buffalo could never recover. Learning how to play sixty full minutes of lacrosse is key in this matchup against Vancouver.
The same story goes for the Warriors as well. Both these teams played games of runs last week, with Vancouver dropping a 14-8 game against the Roughnecks. That game included allowing a seven goal run from Calgary, and a Vancouver offense that just seemed like they couldn’t click.
The front office in Vancouver is one that has seen a lot of changes for this first season under Canucks ownership, and the roster clearly reflects that. Many mainstays on the Vancouver roster are no more, including sharpshooter Rhys Duch, who really made the team pay after putting up ten points in his new Calgary jersey last week.
Mitch Jones will be making his return to Banditland Friday. The 6’2’’ lefty out of Delta, BC spent the last four seasons in Buffalo, which included a career best 2018 campaign, where he put up 81 points. One of many off-season moves by new Warriors GM Dan Richardson saw Jones get traded to Vancouver for forward Corey Small. If the Warriors want to win this one, they need big games from Jones and fellow BC-native Logan Schuss.
It would appear that Buffalo will once again be missing a key piece of their offense for a second week in a row. Dhane Smith suffered a lower body injury in Week One against Philadelphia, an injury which has since forced him to the injured reserve list.
While the Bandits are clearly missing the star power that Smith brings to the offensive side of the ball, his absence has given the opportunity for new faces to step up. Thomas Hoggarth put up three goals and an assist in last week’s loss to the Rock. When you watch Hoggarth play, he leaves everything out on the field. Whether it’s scoring off a diving rebound effort, or setting physical pick and rolls, the Lakefield, Ontario native is all about it.
This game is going to be a battle. Both teams suffered high point losses, and are looking to redeem themselves.
Game time is set for 7:30pm EST at Key Bank Arena in Buffalo. It can be watched with a subscription on the B/R Live app which is available on the web or through iTunes, Google Play, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire.