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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
FINAL
Philadelphia
8
Halifax
18
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Vancouver
8
Toronto
19
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
San Diego
15
New York
14
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Albany
11
Buffalo
10
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Rochester
16
Georgia
11
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Colorado
6
Saskatchewan
18
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Sat, Dec 10
19:00:00
Toronto
Rochester
Sat, Dec 10
21:30:00
Vancouver
Calgary
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Fri, Dec 16
22:30:00
Panther City
Las Vegas
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Rochester
Albany
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Georgia
Sat, Dec 17
19:30:00
Halifax
New York
Sat, Dec 17
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Dec 30
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Dec 31
21:00:00
Panther City
Saskatchewan
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
22:30:00
Philadelphia
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Panther City
Rochester
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Halifax
Albany
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Buffalo
Georgia
Sat, Jan 7
19:30:00
Toronto
New York
Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
Vancouver
San Diego
Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
18:30:00
Albany
Halifax
Fri, Jan 13
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Colorado
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Halifax
Toronto
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Panther City
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 14
19:30:00
Georgia
Buffalo
Sat, Jan 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Jan 14
22:00:00
Las Vegas
Vancouver
Sun, Jan 15
15:00:00
Rochester
New York
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
19:30:00
Buffalo
Rochester
Fri, Jan 20
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
New York
Albany
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
18:00:00
Rochester
Halifax
Fri, Jan 27
19:00:00
Buffalo
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 28
19:30:00
Buffalo
New York
Sat, Jan 28
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Saskatchewan
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
Toronto
Calgary
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Jan 28
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
21:00:00
Georgia
Colorado
Sat, Feb 4
18:00:00
Calgary
Halifax
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
New York
Toronto
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
Albany
Philadelphia
Sat, Feb 4
19:30:00
Rochester
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Panther City
San Diego
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 4
22:30:00
Colorado
Las Vegas
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
19:30:00
Toronto
Georgia
Fri, Feb 10
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Sat, Feb 11
19:00:00
Halifax
Rochester
Sat, Feb 11
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Feb 11
20:00:00
Vancouver
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
21:00:00
Colorado
Calgary
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Georgia
Toronto
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Las Vegas
Albany
Sat, Feb 18
19:30:00
Philadelphia
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 18
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
13:00:00
New York
Halifax
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
21:00:00
Panther City
Colorado
Fri, Feb 24
22:30:00
Calgary
Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
New York
Rochester
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
Albany
Georgia
Sat, Feb 25
20:00:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
18:30:00
Buffalo
Halifax
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 4
16:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Rochester
Toronto
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Mar 4
20:00:00
Saskatchewan
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Mar 10
21:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Mar 11
19:00:00
Albany
Toronto
Sat, Mar 11
19:30:00
Philadelphia
New York
Sat, Mar 11
20:30:00
San Diego
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 11
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sun, Mar 12
16:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Fri, Mar 17
22:00:00
San Diego
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 18
11:00:00
Georgia
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 18
18:00:00
Toronto
Halifax
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Colorado
Buffalo
Sat, Mar 18
20:00:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
20:30:00
San Diego
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Toronto
Albany
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Halifax
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 25
19:30:00
Georgia
New York
Sat, Mar 25
21:30:00
Calgary
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Buffalo
San Diego
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Colorado
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 25
22:30:00
Rochester
Las Vegas
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
20:00:00
New York
Georgia
Fri, Mar 31
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Colorado
Fri, Mar 31
22:00:00
Calgary
San Diego
Sat, Apr 1
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Apr 1
20:00:00
Albany
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
21:30:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
Sun, Apr 2
13:00:00
Georgia
Halifax
Sun, Apr 2
18:00:00
Rochester
Philadelphia
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Albany
Rochester
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Saskatchewan
Georgia
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Panther City
Calgary
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Vancouver
Colorado
Sat, Apr 8
22:30:00
San Diego
Las Vegas
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Calgary
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Toronto
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
New York
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
Halifax
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
Calgary
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
18:00:00
New York
Halifax
Sat, Apr 22
19:00:00
Georgia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
Toronto
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Albany
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Buffalo
Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Halifax
Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
Colorado
San Diego
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
New York
Vancouver
Sat, Apr 29
22:30:00
Saskatchewan
Las Vegas
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Stories/Op-Ed

Bandits’ Season Ends In Heartbreak As Saskatchewan Hoists Cup

Despite a valiant effort on the road, the Buffalo Bandits lost 11-10 to the Saskatchewan Rush in heartbreaking fashion in Game 2 of the Champion’s Cup Finals at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon on Saturday. With the defeat, the Bandits’ incredible 2016 season came to an end as the Rush hoisted the Champion’s Cup trophy for a second consecutive season. 

After a back-and-forth game that featured multiple ties and lead changes, the Bandits answered a three-goal Saskatchewan run with a Kevin Brownell tally to the tie the game 10-10 with 4:24 remaining in the game. 

However, with just 12 seconds left on the clock, Jeff Cornwall picked up a Buffalo rebound that bounced high off the boards behind the Saskatchewan net, raced the length of the floor uncontested, and converted past Buffalo goaltender Anthony Cosmo to put the Rush ahead. 

While Buffalo was able to generate a quality look with just seconds remaining, Ryan Benesch was unable to beat Aaron Bold, and the Rush stormed the floor to celebrate back-to-back championships. 

In the defeat for the Bandits, Dhane Smith finished off his record-breaking season with a fittingly strong performance. Despite consistently drawing double and triple teams from Saskatchewan, Smith still managed a six-point (2+4) night. In support of Smith, Benesch (2+1) and Chad Culp had (0+3) had three points apiece. 

Cosmo put forth another solid effort in net for the Bandits. Although the 16-year veteran received medical attention early in the first quarter, Cosmo shrugged off the apparent injury to make 43 saves on 54 shots. 

Bold deservedly took him series MVP honors after another impressive performance in net for the Rush. After limiting the Bandits’ league-best offensive attack to nine goals in Game 1, the goaltender made another 47 saves on 57 shots in Game 2. 

On the offensive end, Mark Matthews (2+4) and Robert Church (2+4) led the way with six points each. Curtis Knight also had five points (2+3) in the win. 

FIRST QUARTER

Saskatchewan opened the scoring for the night through their star forward. Following a lengthy video review, Matthews was confirmed to have scored with a diving effort with 1:14 played. 

On the goal, Matthews landed awkwardly on Cosmo’s right leg and the Buffalo goaltender remained down and was tended to by the Bandits’ training staff. However, Cosmo remained in the game. 

The Rush extended their early lead to two just 36 seconds later. With the shot clock winding down, Knight fired a bouncing shot that just managed to squeak past Cosmo. 

Buffalo answered back with their first goal of the night five minutes after Knight’s tally made it 2-0. After a quick pick-and-roll, Smith found Anthony Malcom in front of Bold’s net, and the rookie forward converted before tumbling into the Saskatchewan crease. 

The Bandits tied the game at 2-2 with a little less than six minutes remaining in the quarter. After intercepting a pass in the defensive end, Andrew Watt raced down the other way on a 2-on-1 and ripped a shot high over Bold’s right shoulder. 

Buffalo took their first lead of the game with 3:35 to play in the opening quarter. After a quick spin move freed him from a Rush defender, Benesch fired a low shot that beat Bold five-hole. 

Saskatchewan tied the game at 3-3 a little over a minute after Benesch’s goal. Following a illegal cross checking penalty to Steve Priolo, Ben McIntosh scored just 11 seconds into the ensuing power play on a quick catch and release from Cosmo’s right. 

The Bandits finished off the scoring in the opening quarter with 1:23 remaining. After a highlight-reel juke move created space, Smith picked the top corner over Bold’s left shoulder to make it 4-3 in favor of Buffalo heading into the second quarter. 

SECOND QUARTER

The second quarter saw the clubs combine for only three goals as both teams stepped up their efforts on the defensive end. 

With 4:11 played, Knight scored his second goal of the night for the Rush. After setting what appeared to be a moving screen, the third-year forward collected a pretty feed from Church and converted past Cosmo 1-on-1 from in tight to tie the game at 4-4. 

Buffalo reclaimed the lead with just 48 seconds remaining in the half. Smith found Alex Kedoh Hill coming off the bench, and the 25-year-old transition player ripped a shot that beat Bold to his right. 

Saskatchewan wrapped up the first-half scoring with just five seconds remaining on the clock. As he was drifting away from the Buffalo net, Zack Greer fired a long-distance effort that beat a screened Cosmo high over his left shoulder. 

Greer’s goal made it 5-5 heading into the break. 

THIRD QUARTER

The Bandits opened the second half with a two-goal run. 

With 1:05 played, Nick Weiss received a pass in transition from Mitch Jones and finished with a leaping effort across his body. 

Just under three minutes later, the Buffalo converted their first power-play opportunity of the night. With Jeremy Thompson in the box for a holding-the-stick penalty, Benesch faked a shot to Smith and then beat Bold high on the short side. 

Saskatchewan answered back with a pair of long-distance goals that caught Cosmo off guard. 

First, with 6:49 played, McIntosh scored his second goal of the night. Following a quick restart, the 2015 NLL Rookie of the Year beat Cosmo from just inside the Buffalo end. 

A little less than two minutes after McIntosh pulled the Rush back within one, a shorthanded goal from Greer tied the game at 7-7. With Cosmo screened by his own defenseman, Greer’s second of the goal of the night beat the Buffalo goaltender just a few steps inside the halfway line. 

Saskatchewan nearly reclaimed the lead a little over a minute later. After a slash from Smith on Ryan Dilks resulted in a penalty shot, Greer was unable to convert past Cosmo as he fired high and wide of the net. 

The Bandits closed out the third quarter with a pair of goals. 

With 2:22 remaining, David Brock fed Mark Steenhuis and cleared a path for his fellow veteran, and Steenhuis fired a long-range shot that beat Bold to his right. 

Smith scored his second of the night coming with 43 seconds remaining. With a hard-charging run to the front of the net, Smith paid the price and finished past Bold to make it 9-7 in favor of the Bandits heading into the final quarter. 

FOURTH QUARTER

Saskatchewan opened the final quarter on a three-goal run to take back the lead. 

With 4:11 played, a holding-the-stick penalty to Culp provided the Rush with a power play opportunity, and Matthews capitalized with his second of the night on a shot from straightaway through traffic. 

Over five minutes later, Saskatchewan pulled even with a pretty offensive sequence. Greer found a cutting Church, and the third-year forward beat Cosmo 1-on-1. 

Just under a minute later, Church scored again with a shot from straightaway that beat Cosmo to his right. Church’s second of the night made it 10-9 in favor of the Rush with 4:35 remaining. 

Buffalo answered back almost immediately. Just 11 seconds after Church gave Saskatchewan the lead, Kevin Brownell finished off a 3-on-1 rush to tie the game up at 10-10. 

However, Cornwall’s goal with 12 seconds remaining gave Saskatchewan the lead and the Champion’s Cup.

By Zac Hirschbeck for Bandits.com. Photo by Josh Schaefer.

NLL