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Broad Street meet & greet: Wings hosting Bandits for home opener

01/09/2014, 1:30am EST
By Bandits beat writer Alan Rosenhoch for NLL.com

Buffalo visiting Philly for Sunday matinee at Wells Fargo Center

Philadelphia Wings (1-1) host Buffalo Bandits (1-1) at Wells Fargo Center home opener on Sunday at 4pm ET. (Photo: Bill Wippert)

The Buffalo Bandits (1-1) will look to avenge their opening night loss when they visit the Philadelphia Wings (1-1) for their home opener at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. Watch the game live on YouTube via The Lacrosse Network by clicking here.

The Bandits are coming off a come-from-behind home win against the Toronto Rock on Friday night, earning their first victory of this young season.

A win on Sunday against the Wings in what will be a third straight divisional game would go a long way towards setting the tone for the 2014 season and making a statement to the league that this is not the same team that went 6-10 last season.

“Obviously we want to get both wins, that’s the goal for the weekend,” said Bandits forward Ryan Benesch, who led Buffalo with five points (3+2) on Friday night.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia has very little time to rest following their 13-9 loss on the road at Rochester on Saturday night. The Wings dug themselves into a 10-3 first-half hole and scored six unanswered goals in the second half to pull within 10-9, but it was too much to overcome.

Philadelphia trounced Buffalo in their opening night match up on Dec. 28, running away with a 17-13 victory and embarrassing the Bandits in front of their home crowd. With Sunday’s game being the Wings’ home opener, Buffalo has the opportunity to return the favor.

“We owe Philly a better game,” Benesch said. “They came into [Buffalo] and pushed us around. So now we’re going into their house and we’re going to do the same.”

The Wings know they won’t have it so easy against Buffalo this time.

“We’re expecting to see a much different team on Sunday,” said Wings head coach Blaine Harrison. “[Buffalo] has got some new faces, but they’re a veteran team. Their core veterans are proud guys.”

In the opener, it seemed as though Philadelphia had game planned perfectly to stifle the Bandits offense.

“I think Philadelphia made us play a bad game,” said Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich. “We’ve got to refocus and get ready because they did a lot of things to us that we weren’t ready for. So we need to correct those and match or exceed the level of intensity that they brought to the floor.”

Bandits goaltender Anthony Cosmo had a very strong bounce back performance on Friday against Toronto after being pulled in the opener against Philadelphia. He made 52 saves on 62 shots for an outstanding .839 save percentage.

The home opener at Wells Fargo Center is a featured event for the U.S. Lacrosse Convention taking place in Philadelphia this weekend.

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