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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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Drive For Five: Bandits Top Black Wolves 20-15 To Advance To Nll Finals

The Buffalo Bandits (15-5) punched the team’s ticket to the Champion’s Cup Finals with a 20-15 win over the New England Black Wolves in front of 14,255 at the First Niagara Center on Saturday night. The Bandits won the series 2-0 and advance to the championship series against the defending champion Saskatchewan Rush.

The journey to reach the Champion’s Cup Finals is a long one that began in preseason on November 27 for the Bandits and isn’t finished yet.

“At the beginning of the year, we started off training camp with a strong message to the guys, that it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice,” said Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley. “It’s good to be to this point, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

The Bandits opened the scoring just 11 seconds into the game with Jay Thorimbert finding the back of the net. Mark Steenhuis gave Buffalo a two goal lead before the Wolves went on a three goal run. Emotions boiled over after about 10 minutes when David Brock and Mike McNamara dropped the gloves. New England extended it’s lead to 4-2 with 2:57 to go on a power play goal from Shawn Evans. Mitch Jones and Evans traded goals and the first quarter ended 5-3 in favor of New England.

Buffalo also scored first in the second quarter when Anthony Malcom found the back of the net. The game was tied 6-6 with 9:38 to go before Mitch de Snoo took a major penalty for an illegal cross check. Pat Saunders and Kevin Crowley scored on the power play, then Derek Suddons scored short handed to give New England a 9-6 lead. The Bandits used a three-goal run to end the first half tied 9-9.

“We talked about a 9-9 game at the half. We knew we weren’t playing very well and we weren’t very smart in a couple situations,” said Cordingley. “We turned it around and eventually took the game over.”

The third quarter saw the game tied four different times until Malcom gave Buffalo a 14-13 lead into the final quarter.

Chad Culp scored his second goal before Kevin Buchanan scored his fifth to keep Buffalo’s lead at one goal. Ryan Benesch scored two straight goals to give Buffalo a three goal lead with less than five minutes to go. Buchanan scored again for New England, but Culp added another tally as the Bandits got back to up three with 1:53 to go. Steenhuis netted a penalty shot goal before Alex Kedoh Hill gave Buffalo a 20-15 lead that would seal the victory.

“This is an unbelievable feeling. It doesn’t feel real. Now we’re in the finals and we’re not done yet,” said NLL regular season scoring champ Dhane Smith. “There’s something different about this year. We don’t get too high or too low and we know we’re going to get the next goal.”

After scoring four goals in game one on Monday, Hill kept his scoring streak going in the series by adding four more goals and three assists on Saturday night. The NLL’s leading scorer Smith (4+5) also stayed red hot. Kevin Buchanan (6+1) and Shawn Evans (2+4) led the scoring for the Black Wolves in the loss.

“Kedoh has picked his game up another notch in the playoffs. He’s a great transition player and might have the best stick skills in the league,” added Cordingley. “Culp does all the gritty work and all the dirty work and he got three tonight. He was really good.”

Culp (3+1) was sporting the hard hat given to the player voted to have had the best game by the Bandits locker room. He’s excited for the rare opportunity to compete for the Champion’s Cup.

“It’s a long journey for sure, it’s a long season. We got the two wins we needed to get to the finals and now we need two more,” said Culp. “This is my 14th year and I haven’t had a chance yet. It’s really exciting and hopefully we come out victorious.”

A rivalry developed between the Bandits and Black Wolves throughout the regular season and playoffs and Black Wolves head coach Glenn Clark could feel the intensity.

“There’s a bit of nastiness out there, but that’s the game and we’re used to it,” said coach Clark. “The game was what we expected. We fought and came up a bit short and it was a battle. Everything was earned.”

After finishing at the bottom of the league in 2015, the Black Wolves showed vast improvement making it to the East Division Finals. Clark was encouraged by the progress he saw.

“I’m happy with how the guys played,” he said. “They played to the final whistle and gave what they had. You can’t beat yourself up about it. It’s disappointing, but when we look at the totality of the season, we’ve made some good progress. We’ve put a few of those ‘foundation pieces’ in place and I think it bodes well for us moving forward.”

The Bandits host Game 1 of the Champion’s Cup Finals on Saturday, May 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET live on TSN 2 & TSN GO and the ESPN app. Game 2 is set for Saturday, June 4 at 9 p.m. ET in Saskatoon and should the series be tied 1-1, Game 3 would take place in Buffalo on Saturday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Three Stars of the Game:

1) Dhane Smith
2) Alex Kedoh Hill
3) Kevin Buchanan

By Steve Bermel for NLL.com. Photo by Bill Wippert.

NLL