fbpx

Download Your Favorite Teams Schedule Here

×
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
Vancouver
San Diego
Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
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
Powered By
MGM Logo
Scores / Schedule
Stories/Op-Ed

The Bandits Defense is Ready to Come Back to Life After Their Underwhelming Performance

In the hours and days following the Buffalo Bandits’ 18-17 East Conference Finals Game One win against the Toronto Rock last Sunday, Bandits General Manager and Defense Coach Steve Dietrich received many apologetic texts and phone calls from his players. Yes, you read that right. The defensive unit understood that they are more capable than they played on Sunday and that a win does not dissolve them of any blame or guilt.

Despite the emotional, gritty home victory, Dietrich’s defensive leaders still felt remorse after letting their teammates down during one of the more consequential games they’ll play this season. As Captain Steve Priolo mentioned, sometimes that’s just how the lacrosse ball bounces. Sometimes, it will be the offense that picks the defense up, and that’s OK, as long as it doesn’t become a trend.

Historically speaking, there is no escaping giving up 17 goals in the NLL postseason. In fact, it was only the fifth time in the Bandits’ 30-year existence, and the first time since 2005, that the team allowed 17 or more goals in a postseason game – it was the first time in those instances where they actually won the contest.

Priolo pointed out one of the critical ways the Bandits were able to come away with so many victories this season as a whole, not just last weekend, is playing as much 5-on-5 lacrosse as possible. Believe it or not, the offense’s efforts on the floor play a considerable role here.

“It starts with ‘Vino’ [Matt Vinc], which we say time and time again, but it also goes back to our offense,” Priolo said. “The offense being disciplined, stopping transition against us, and giving us a chance to play 5-on-5 lacrosse is very important. When you’re playing 5-on-5, that’s when you can run your systems; now you can play your game.”

Playing within your system and playing the game you want to play is much easier said than done. It takes time to find the right players that are willing to buy into the system, and then it takes more time to build chemistry and trust between teammates so a team can flawlessly execute those systems.

Priolo stated that when the Bandits were allowed to get back together after the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a concerted effort to build an undeniable level of trust and chemistry that would hopefully beget success.

“When we came back from the pandemic, it was like, we’re all starting from scratch, and now we all have to be on the same page,” Priolo said. “We were one big unit again, but how were we all going to work together. When you’re playing defense, you have to put yourself in a position to be successful, and that only happens if you’re playing together.”

The collective defensive performances throughout the year proved the effort they put into building chemistry and trust, and it led the Bandits to much success this season. Not only did Vinc and the defense hold opposing offenses to under 10 goals eight times during the regular season, but their combined 185 goals allowed throughout the season was their fewest as a team since 2011, and that was a 16-game season.

Yet, no matter what the defense as a whole has accomplished, many players often get overlooked. Hard-nosed, well-executed defense isn’t highlighted nearly as much, unlike on the offensive side of the ball, where it’s easy to stand out with goals and assists.

Dietrich, who helped dictate defensives in between the pipes during his playing years, carefully crafted a defensive system where each player could shine individually and as a group. Now he’s built one of the most reliable defensive forces in all of the NLL.

“I don’t think they get enough credit,” Dietrich said. “Steve Priolo is our unquestioned leader back there – and he’s the one that does get mentioned, and rightfully so – but there’s a lot of unsung heroes back there. They just go out there to do their job, game in and game out, and never get recognized.”

Dietrich said if he had to single out a few of the publicly under-appreciated defensive players, he’d go with guys like Justin Martin, Nick Weiss, and Bryce Sweeting. It should be noted that Dietrich believes that all of the guys on the backend outside of Priolo and Vinc need to be talked about far more than they currently are.

Playing solid defense is far more than collecting loose balls and causing turnovers, always being in the proper position, fighting through picks, and being a physical presence are some of the intangible traits that Martin, Weiss, Sweeting, and the rest of the Bandits defense bring to the table every game.

It’s a complete showing of combining the best of all the tangibles and intangibles defensive traits that will give the Bandits a win this weekend and put the team into the NLL Finals. If there’s any text the defensive leaders want to send to Dietrich after this weekend’s game, it’s, “We did it. Now, let’s go win that NLL Cup.”

NLL