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Buffalo Bandits Repeat as National Lacrosse League Champions and Capture NLL Cup

Season MVP Byrne also Named Finals MVP; Fourth Seeds Sweep Best-of-Three in Front of Home Fans at KeyBank Center

The fourth-seeded Buffalo Bandits claimed their second straight National Lacrosse League (@NLL) Championship, earning a 15-13 win in front of a sellout crowd of 19,070 at KeyBank Center to sweep the best-of-three series from the third-seeded Albany FireWolves. The Bandits, playing in their fourth straight Finals, became the first team to repeat since the Edmonton/Saskatchewan Rush turned the trick in 2015 and 2016. In all, eight teams have now gone back-to-back.

Tonight, Buffalo took a 4-1 lead then extended to 8-3 with 9:28 left in the first half, with two goals each by Chase Fraser and Tehoka Nanticoke and four other Bandits scoring one each before the FireWolves fought their way back to a 9-8 deficit early in the third. But a run of five straight markers by the hosts, including three more by Fraser, who finished the day with five goals and two assists, proved the decisive stretch to give the franchise its sixth championship. NLL Most Valuable Player and NLL Finals presented by AXIA Time MVP Josh Byrne collected eight assists. Sam Firth had five goals and two assists in a losing cause for the FireWolves.

On Friday, Buffalo struck first with a late flurry in Friday’s opener at Albany’s MVP Arena, erasing a 6-5 halftime deficit with seven of the next eight goals, including three straight into the fourth quarter, for a 12-8 win. Dhane Smith registered an astounding nine assists, Byrne had a three-goal, four-assist night and Matt Vinc recorded 37 saves.

NLL Finals presented by AXIA Time Summary:

(4) Buffalo Bandits vs. (3) Albany FireWolves

  • Game 1 – Buffalo 12, at Albany 9, Friday, May 17
  • Game 2 – at Buffalo 15, Albany 13, Saturday, May 18
NLL