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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
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
Vancouver
San Diego
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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Game Previews

Buffalo Set for Showdown in Game One Against Calgary

The stage is now set for Game 1 of the National Lacrosse League Finals, presented by Michelob Ultra, featuring the Buffalo Bandits and Calgary Roughnecks. Buffalo punched its ticket to the best-of-three series by defeating the Toronto Rock, 12-8, in the East Final, while the Roughnecks defeated the Colorado Mammoth, 8-4, in the West Final. Both teams field threats at every position, and this matchup is truly shaping up to be a showcase of the best that the lacrosse world has to offer.

The Bandits will have home field advantage throughout the series (hosting Game 1) after completing a 14-4 regular season and earning the No. 1 seed for the NLL Playoffs. This is a remarkable turnaround year for the orange and black, as they missed the playoffs the past two seasons despite a Finals appearance in 2016. Now under the leadership of coaches John Tavares and Rich Kilgour, the team is seeing a renewed sense of confidence.

“I think we are a better team now than we were then,” said Bandits forward Dhane Smith on the team’s growth since 2016. “It took us a lot of time and effort to get here. We’re going to have fun out there, but not take it for granted.”

Smith, who led the team in points with 102 (32G, 70A), said the factor for Buffalo’s success has simply been chemistry.

“It’s just sticking together, I think we’re a tight group this year,” said Smith. “We all have roles on the team, and we don’t try to go outside of those roles. We work together as a team.”

Working together as a team has translated to the stat sheet. Ten players on the Bandits roster have recorded double digits in the goal column, while the Roughnecks have just six. This offensive depth gives the Bandits a threat from anywhere on the floor, not just from Dhane Smith or Shawn Evans. True grinders like Jordan Durston, Thomas Hoggarth, and Chase Fraser are stepping up to provide secondary scoring. Calgary might be able to shut down an offensive player or two, but can they shut down the whole unit?

Those hopes will rely heavily on Roughnecks goaltender Christian Del Bianco, who has turned aside 242 shots and posted a .798 save percentage during Calgary’s current five-game winning streak.

The Roughnecks and Bandits met just once in the 2019 regular season, with Buffalo taking the 12-10 win in a fourth quarter rally to pick up its fifth consecutive home victory. Calgary pressured heavily at the end and had a chance to tie the game late.

“It was a one-goal game, we hit a post, they went down and scored the other way, and the game was over,” said. Roughnecks defender Mitch Wilde.

Roughnecks forward Curtis Dickson scored four goals against Buffalo and complied 35 goals and 46 assists in just 14 games in the regular season. He trailed only Dane Dobbie’s 115 points (47G, 68A) on Calgary’s roster this season.

The Roughnecks will look to pile up points on the power play, as they enter the championship series firing at 75-percent with the man advantage while Buffalo is clicking at 63.6 percent. Calgary is also killing off 87.5 percent of power plays, compared to the Bandits at 54.5.

Certainly one of the biggest storylines coming into this series is the battle between the pipes. Matt Vinc of the Bandits has been one of the most skilled goaltenders to guard the crease since earning his first starting job in 2008. The 36-year-old from St. Catharines, Ontario has won a league record six Goaltender of the Year Awards, with his most recent coming as a member of the Rochester Knighthawks last year.  Despite his age, his numbers remain consistent. Vinc’s .803 save percentage in the regular season was the second highest in his 14-year NLL career.

Across the floor is a much different look as 21-year-old goaltender Del Bianco minds the crease for Calgary. Now in his fourth season as a Roughneck, and in his first season as the sole starter, Del Bianco’s 11.17 GAA is fourth-best in the league for goaltenders with over 500 minutes played. He is agile, acrobatic, and his work ethic is outstanding.

He’ll look to add an NLL Championship ring to his finger after this series against Buffalo.

Game 1 of the NLL Finals, presented by Michelob Ultra, is set for this Saturday at 7:30 pm at the KeyBank Center in downtown Buffalo.  Coverage will begin at 7:00pm ET with NLL Playoffs Pre-Game LIVE on the NLL’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Game action will be streamed live on B/R Live and Fanseat.

 

NLL