After starting the season 6–0, the Thunderbirds have lost 4 of their last 5 games, with one of those losses coming from the division rivals, the Buffalo Bandits in the first game of a double header weekend. On Sunday, the two teams face off for the third and final time this season.
The first game between these two dominant teams was won by the Thunderbirds in the second game of the season. Buffalo took the next matchup, and now with both teams splitting the series so far, this game has more than just bragging rights on the line. The Bandits and the Toronto Rock are tied at the top of the North, with the Thunderbirds just half a game behind. A win on Sunday would push the Thunderbirds ahead of Buffalo in the standings as we head closer to the playoffs.
If the Roughnecks beat the Rock this Saturday, the Thunderbirds would reclaim control of the North Division. A win over a strong Bandit team would also help redirect the Thunderbird season back on the winning path and instill confidence back into the team.
After such a hot start, dropping 4 games has completely turned the season on its head for Halifax. Finding themselves down early in games and fighting the way back has been the usual script for the games. To start winning again, the Thunderbirds must get back to their early offense and playing smarter.
“We’ve had some tough games and continue to dig ourselves into a hole early in games,” said head coach Mike Accursi. “We need to focus on getting out to a better start early in the game. We need to play disciplined lacrosse on both ends of the floor. We need to get back to trusting each other and the game plan we put in for each week.”
Playing smarter and cleaner lacrosse has been a focus point over the past few games for Halifax, especially on the offensive end. Turnovers and penalties have limited the opportunities for the dangerous scorers to put the ball in the net. Playing a full 60 minutes of lacrosse and valuing the ball will be the keys to winning the game and collecting more wins going forward.
This game will be a pivotal point in the season. If Halifax can come out and play a complete game on both ends of the floor and walk away with a win, the season would start to get back on track. This is now a must-win game for the Thunderbirds. Should they lose this game, the North division may become out of reach, and the momentum will continue to roll in the wrong direction.
The game between the Buffalo Bandits and the Halifax Thunderbirds faces off on Sunday at 3pm AST/2pm EST in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It can be watched on B/R Live.