The Buffalo Bandits (4-2) kept its share atop the East Division with a 21-14 road win over the Georgia Swarm (3-4) at Infinite Energy Center on Sunday. Dhane Smith continued his record scoring pace with 13 points (5+8), the most by an NLL player so far this year, while bringing his season total to 50 points (21+29) through six games.
The two teams traded a pair goals in the first three minutes of the game before the Bandits pulled ahead with three minutes left in the first quarter for a 3-2 lead.
Buffalo never looked back, scoring seven more unanswered goals in the first eight minutes of the second quarter for a commanding 10-2 lead. Georgia stopped the bleeding with two quick goals and eventually went into halftime trailing 12-5.
The Swarm opened the second-half scoring with an early marker 30 seconds in but a three-goal Bandits scoring run made it 15-6. Georgia fought back with four-straight goals to cut the deficit to 15-10 after 45 minutes of play.
Six more Bandits goals in the fourth quarter, including two by Alex Kedoh Hill and Smith’s fifth of the day, silenced any chance of a Swarm comeback, with the game ending with a 21-14 final.
“We weren’t surprised by anything that they did, we knew they were going to run,” Swarm head coach Ed Comeau told the team’s website. “We knew that they had some dynamic scorers, and we had a plan for it, but didn’t execute well. Having a chance to go back and play them in their house, I think the guys are looking forward to that and hopefully we can put a better effort out and make it more of a game.”
In addition to Smith’s big game, Ryan Benesch recorded nine points (3+6) for the Bandits while Kedoh Hill (4+1) and Mark Steenhuis (1+4) both had five points, and Davide DiRuscio made 30 saves on 44 shots. Johnny Powless led the way for the Swarm with eight points (4+4), Jordan MacIntosh posted seven points (2+5), Shayne Jackson had four (2+2) and Brodie MacDonald and Zach Higgins combined for 39 saves on 60 shots.
Three Stars of the Game:
1) Dhane Smith
2) Alex Kedoh Hill
3) Johnny Powless
Photo by Paul Sasso.