Bandits’ six-game win streak ends
Georgia jumps to early lead
The Buffalo Bandits’ sixgame win streak is over and their lead over the Toronto Rock in the National Lacrosse League has grown a little shakier.
The Georgia Swarm, who absorbed a 19-9 shellacking from the Bandits on their home surface last month, got some revenge on Buffalo with a 14-9 victory at KeyBank Center Saturday night, spoiling the party a bit on Native American Night before a crowd of 15,061.
The Swarm not only won, they didn’t even let the Bandits get a sniff of the lead once they broke a 2-2 tie and went on a 4-0 run in the first period.
It was 6-3 at the quarter break, 8-5 at the half and 11-7 after three.
The visitors built the lead to as many as seven goals, 14-7, early in the fourth quarter.
Winning goalie Mike Poulin, a 34-year-old veteran from Kitchener, Ont., stopped 41 of the 50 shots he faced. The Bandits’ Matt Vinc had 38 saves on 52 shots.
Randy Staats of Six Nations, Ont., led the Georgia onslaught with four goals and an assist. He put 11 shots on goal. Staats has 27 goals and 44 assists for 71 points on the season.
Brendan Bomberry and Bryan Cole had two goals each for the Swarm. It was Cole’s second goal that snapped the 2-2 tie at 6:40 of the opening period, putting Georgia in front to stay.
Dhane Smith had three goals and two assists for the Bandits. Jordan Durston had a pair of goals and two assists while Thomas Hoggarth also scored twice with one assist.
Bandits scoring leader Shawn Evans was limited to two assists, giving him 49 for the season to go with 24 goals. Buffalo team goals leader Corey Small had only an assist. His goals total remained at 27.
Buffalo now takes to the road for a Friday night game at Saskatchewan. The next home game looks huge: The Bandits (10-3) against Toronto on March 23.
Toronto (7-3) lost, 15-9, Saturday at Calgary and trails the Bandits by 1 1/2 games, but the Bandits have played three more games. The Rock also has a home game with Rochester and a game at Georgia before that March 23 game.