The Buffalo Bandits (8-2) picked up their sixth-straight home win by dropping the Colorado Mammoth (5-8) by a score of 12-9 before a crowd of 15,445 at First Niagara Center on Saturday night.
The Bandits propelled themselves with solid goaltending, a 5-0 run to open to the game and another strong fourth quarter. They also never trailed in the victory.
Chad Culp netted his 400th career point with a goal to open the scoring at the 1:01 mark of the first quarter. John Tavares added a goal to round out the first quarter of scoring at 9:46. Both goaltenders played very well, Anthony Cosmo stopping all 10 shots the he faced while Dillon Ward stopped 13 of 15 in the first 15 minutes.
Buffalo extended their lead to 4-0 early in the second quarter with goals from Joe Resetarits and Steve Priolo. Priolo stole a pass while the Bandits were short-handed, spun to split two defenders, and buried a shot in transition for his sixth goal of the season.
The story of the night may have been how well Resetarits, acquired in an offseason trade with Calgary, is fitting in with the Buffalo offense.
"Our offense gelled really well," said Resetarits. "We've been getting a lot of resets and wearing down defenses. We won that game 5-on-5."
Colorado finally got on the board at the 9:40 mark of quarter two with a PPG from John Grant Jr. That tally was the longest it's taken the Mammoth to score their first goal since 2009. After adding two more goals to make the score 5-3, Ryan Benesch buried a shot from right in front of the net to round out the first half with a 6-3 Buffalo lead.
Buffalo head coach Troy Cordingley attributed the win to a strong first half.
"I thought our first half was outstanding. We did an amazing job defensively and forced them to play faster."
Cosmo stopped 21 of 24 shots in the first half while Ward stopped 20 of 26.
The Mammoth took advantage of a five minute boarding penalty called on Dhane Smith and scored four-straight goals in the third quarter. Tavares capped off the scoring with two seconds to go to have Buffalo take an 8-7 lead into the fourth.
Colorado coach Dan Stroup liked the Mammoth's resilience to come back after trailing 5-0 on the road.
"I liked the way our team battled. There were a lot of positives but in the end, we've got to find a way to win and score more than nine goals."
Three Stars of the Game as selected by the media:
1) Joe Resetarits
2) John Grant, Jr.
3) Anthony Cosmo