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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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Dances With Wolves: Buffalo At New England

The Buffalo Bandits open up their 2015 National Lacrosse League campaign with a tough back-to-back weekend, first in New England to face the Black Wolves at Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday at 7 p.m. ET. Watch the opener live on WatchESPN in U.S. and TSN.ca (live.nll.com) in Canada.

Buffalo then heads home to host the Edmonton Rush for the opener at First Niagara Center on Saturday night. The Bandits are hoping to build on their undefeated preseason where they went 3-0 and look to use NLL Face Off Weekend 2015 as a springboard toward the goal of a Champion’s Cup.

Last season, the Bandits came within one goal of the NLL Champion’s Cup Finals when the Rochester Knighthawks eliminated Buffalo in the sudden death overtime of Game 3 of the East Division Finals. The team came within inches, a post here or a save there, from advancing to the final round.

Bandits assistant coach Dan Teat certainly wasn’t satisfied with how close Buffalo came last season.

“Instead of being happy with that, we realize we have some work to do beat a team like Rochester,” said Teat, referring to the team’s Thruway rival in the three-time defending champion Knighthawks.

The Bandits and Black Wolves are both excited to kick off their respective seasons in a new location, as New England will play their inaugural game at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“It’s always tough to go into a new building that neither team is too familiar with,” Teat said. “The key for us is to stay as close to their intensity as we can because [New England] is going to come out guns blazing.”

The Bandits may find a bit of an advantage to playing twice on the opening weekend. With a few new faces in the lineup such first-round pick Brandon Goodwin and newcomer Jerome Thompson, the Bandits may be able to better evaluate their roster early in the season. This weekend also gives the team a chance to test their depth. In the event of a tweak or an injury, the Bandits are confident in their lineup to plug any holes.

Most fans and coaches will be ready to watch Bandits forwards John Tavares, Dhane Smith and Ryan Benesch in action for another season in black and orange. But another one to watch is Jerome Thompson, brother of Jeremy, Miles and Lyle, who hits the turf after finding his game after several years on the outside looking in. While his stick skills were never in question, Thompson dedicated himself to conditioning during training camp and made the Bandits’ 20-man roster.

“[Jerome’s] got a really unique skill set that not a lot of guys have naturally,” Teat said. “It’s going to be fun to watch him play.”

Though this is the first regular season game of the year, these two teams have become very familiar with each other throughout the preseason as the Bandits took both exhibition games from the Black Wolves. With a young and less experienced roster, second-year head coach Blane Harrison is looking to help the new players develop professional skills as they join the NLL for the first time.

“We are in a performance-driven league, and we have a number of young players and new players,” notes Harrison. “That’s kind of been the thing that the coaches and I have been wrestling with the last three or four weeks…how to quickly build chemistry.”

During the first scrimmage against the Bandits, the Black Wolves showed their teeth and had them against the ropes most of the way; however, timely goals cost the Wolves in Buffalo’s 10-9 win. The second scrimmage was nothing like its predecessor as the Bandits made quick work of New England, winning 17-10.

“They’re a very solid team, from goaltending out,” Harrison said. “We expect to be challenged in all three zones (defense, offense, goaltending), and we’re really preparing for a high quality, hard-fought contest.”

With the bitter taste of an 0-3 preseason record, coach Harrison and his pack look to learn from its mistakes and move forward. The roster’s mixture of old and new faces makes for a bit of juggling and tough calls with the first game of the season only days away. Focusing on the overall performance and improving on past performance, the starting lineup is still a work in progress for the second-year head coach.

“We’re still trying to find ourselves, but I think overall we’d like overall performance to go up,” Harrison admitted. “We felt really good about ourselves for most of training camp. Certainly, the last two scrimmages had all those goals and the mismatch when you’re talking with respect to rosters. But it was sobering and it was a cold bucket of water that we have to do things a little bit differently.”

New England’s core of seasoned veterans along with several former players-turned-coaches such as Tracey Kelusky and Chris Collins help the Black Wolves prepare for an exciting first season in their new home. This is not the same roster from Philadelphia and not the same atmosphere as the 2014 season. There is a chance to change past ideas about the team and start fresh.

“It’s an exciting time. Obviously, we’re excited to get a new arena, and the Mohegan Sun staff have been absolutely great to us,” said Black Wolves transition player Joel White, a rare American-born player wearing the captain’s ‘C’ this season. “We’re excited as a team, but in all honesty, we have to perform on the floor.”

Story by Steve Bermel (@BanditsBeat) & Alyssa McLaughlin (@BlackWolvesBeat) for NLL.com.

NLL