The Buffalo Bandits (6-3) will host the Rochester Knighthawks (4-6) Saturday night at KeyBank Center in Buffalo at 7:30 P.M. EST. The game will be the third meeting between the I-90 rivals with the teams splitting a pair of games in Rochester.
Game one between these teams was on December 23rd and saw a dominating 21-11 win for the Hawks. The second meeting, on February 3rd, saw the Bandits get revenge with a 16-14 win. Saturday’s rubber match will be crucial for both teams in the East Division standings.
Buffalo comes in on a four game win streak while Rochester has recovered from a six game losing streak with two wins of their own. The Bandits are in sole possession of first place while the Knighthawks are last in the East Division. No game comes easy in the NLL and the Bandits know that.
“In this league, you can go from first to last in a week or two. We’ve been working on and stressing consistency. Five-on-five we’ve improved immensely and it’s led to success. [John Tavares] has done a phenomenal job with the offense,” said Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley. “All the teams are extremely good in this league and Rochester is no different. Sometimes you get on a bad swing, but these last two games they’ve dominated their opponents.”
The coach also credits his veteran leadership for the team’s success so far this year.
“I think our captains have done a phenomenal job of making sure that the team is close knit and that everyone is having fun,” noted Cordingley. “But, they also know when we get to the rink, we have to get our lunch pales and go to work.”
The Bandits are currently 3-1 at home and hope to improve on their home record as they’ll be home for five of their last nine games. Also, sitting a game ahead of the second place Toronto Rock allows them to control their own destiny in the division with half the season left.
Saturday will be an Alumni Night celebration in ‘Banditland’ with several former players making an appearance for a pregame ceremony and signing autographs at halftime.
The game can be seen live on NLLTV.com and CBS Sports Digital.