By Steve Bermel / NLL.com Correspondent
Photo by Bill Wippert / Buffalo Bandits
The Buffalo Bandits (0-1) return to action this Saturday at the KeyBank Center against the Georgia Swarm (1-0) at 7:30 p.m. EST. The Bandits had week two off after a tough 12-8 loss to the Colorado Mammoth in week one. The Swarm come to Buffalo with a strong 18-10 victory in hand over the Saskatchewan Rush last weekend.
After a poor outing two weeks ago, the Bandits went back to the drawing board to try to correct their problems. Buffalo coaches and players knew that the practice intensity would be dialed up in preparation for their next game.
“We’ve had two practices with a really high compete level,” said Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley. “We spent a lot of time reviewing our system and we watched video to see where we can improve. The guys put on their work boots.”
Cordingley was not pleased with the way his team played against the Mammoth and the players knew their efforts were not good enough. They also know, however, that the season is still young.
“It’s early in the year,” said Cordingley. “The biggest thing about the first game is that we were wishing instead of working. We forgot how hard it is the win in this league.”
It would appear that Buffalo will have to bring a solid effort to take down the Swarm. Georgia posted an 18 goal performance against the two time defending champion Saskatchewan Rush who have been credited for having one of the best defenses in the league.
The offensive guns were on full display last week for the Swarm. Lyle Thompson netted eight points (2+6), while Randy Staats had seven (3+4), Shayne Jackson had six (4+2) and Miles Thompson tallied five (4+1).
“Georgia is a pretty good team. They’re a young team that’s hungry,” noted Cordingley. “It’s pretty remarkable that they scored 18 goals against the Rush.”
Buffalo’s offense sputtered a bit in week one with Steenhuis being held to three points (0+3) and the 2016 League MVP Dhane Smith being held to four points (1+3) in the loss. Ryan Benesch led all Buffalo runners with five points (3+2). They’ll look to be better in all three phases of the game this weekend.
Coach Cordingley also announced that Daryl Veltman (personal) and Anthony Malcom (injured reserve) will be back in the lineup for the Bandits on Saturday.