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Game Recaps

Home Sweet Home Again

After a month away, Bandits get their groove back in ‘Banditland’

The Buffalo Bandits (2-2) and the Calgary Roughnecks (1-3) both entered Saturday
night’s game at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo looking for a win after each suffering two
early season losses. After a strong win over Toronto in their first game, the Bandits
dropped two straight on the road against the Rochester Knighthawks and the Rock.
Calgary pocketed a win over the Vancouver Stealth while losing to Rochester and the
Colorado Mammoth.

Being back home proved to be just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Bandits as
they convincingly took down the Roughnecks 13-8 in front of 11,803 in downtown
Buffalo.

“Everybody knows when you play in ‘Banditland’ you have an extra player out there, it’s
special in this building,” said Bandits forward Callum Crawford. “I felt it against me for
the past 12 years. Being here is an advantage for us.”

Kevin Brownell opened the scoring on the Bandits first shot of the game. Dan MacRae
scored for Calgary nine seconds later on their first shot of the game. Buffalo opened up a
3-1 lead on goals from Crawford and Dhane Smith. Garrett McIntosh brought the
Roughnecks within one, but Smith extended the Bandits lead back to two goals. Curtis
Dickson tallied his first goal for Calgary before Justin Martin scored on a breakaway to
give Buffalo a 5-3 at the end of the first quarter.

After Buffalo took a 2-1 lead, Calgary never managed to get the score even again.
“I think we showed a lot of resilience tonight trying to claw our way back, but we didn’t
get some of the bounces we’d have liked,” said Roughneck forward Tyler Digby. “One
thing we do know about the room is the guys will keep battling.”
After almost 10 minutes without a goal in the second frame, Jordan Durston gave Buffalo
a 7-3 lead with two straight goals, the second while the Bandits were shorthanded as
Callum Crawford took a 5 minute illegal body check penalty. Dane Dobbie scored on the
power play for the Riggers and the game entered halftime with a 7-4 Buffalo lead.
Buffalo’s ability to score shorthanded and only give up one goal against on the major
penalty proved to be a key point of the game.

“It was a huge kill. Five minute [penalties] are tough, especially in this league,” said
Durston who scored the shorthanded goal. “To kill it and get one is huge.”
The third quarter saw two more goals from Dickson to being and end the period while
Durston and Brownell scored between them. Buffalo held a 9-6 lead going into the final
quarter.

Crawford netted two straight before Dickson, Mitch Jones, Dobbie and Crawford traded
goals to finish the game 13-8 in favor of Buffalo.

“That was fun. That was special offense. The guys were doing so much incredible work,
it was such a team offensive set,” added Crawford. “That’s the most fun I’ve had playing
lacrosse in a long time.”

After giving up over 20 goals in two straight games, the Bandits were able to keep
Calgary to single digits.
“Our goal was to have 19 guys give us an honest effort and play hard for each other, and
that’s what we did. We won a lot of loose ball battles,” said Bandits coach Troy
Cordingley. “It was 100% buy-in as a team.”

Bandits goaltender Alex Buque turned away 44 of the 52 shots he faced after being
pulled in the first quarter of his last two starts. The Bandits first year net minder was
happy to bounce back after struggling.

“I just needed a bit of time. It’s all about adapting and bouncing back. These last few
games didn’t go as planned,” said Buque. “It’s getting back into the same routine. Meals,
sleep, flight adjustments, it’s all about getting back into that routine.”

The Bandits will host the Vancouver Stealth on Saturday, January 13 at 7:30P.M. EST

The Roughnecks will host the defending champion Georgia Swarm at 10:00P.M. EST on
January 13.

Three stars of the game as selected by the media:
1 – Jordan Durston
2 – Curtis Dickson
3 – Callum Crawford

NLL