The Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) began their season last night with solid 13-9 victory against the rival Toronto Rock. There was no love lost between the two teams as multiple fights broke out and big hits caused a few big scrums. I was at the game last night and although I don’t know that much about lacrosse, I thought it would be nice to give you guys a quick recap.
Last season the Bandits finished in last place in the NLL, giving them the 1st overall pick in the draft which they used on forward Josh Byrne. Check out Byrne’s highlights from his first season in the MLL, which is the outdoor lacrosse league, he’s incredible.
The team also made a concerted effort to get younger at other positions. This year’s roster has 13 players who are 25 years old or younger compared to 7 players on last year’s team. These new guys placed a big role in last night’s game. Byrne and fellow rookie Chase Fraser each scored goals, while newbies Jordan Durston and Callum Crawford each tallied scores as well. Buffalo was led in points by “The Great” Dhane Smith and Bandits legend Mark Steenhuis contributed an empty netter. Following Anthony Cosmo’s retirement, Alex Buque took over in net and played a great game. He made 55 saves on 64 shots and turned away some big breakaways.
The best thing about going to Bandits games is the atmosphere, and the crowd did not disappoint. Although it seemed a little more sparse than usual, the “Let’s Go Bandits” and “B.O.X.” chants rang through loud and clear. I’ll definitely be making an effort to attend more games this year, now if only someone can explain to me the possession rules that would be great.