Big Bandits Weekend

by Ryan

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With just two weeks left in the regular season, there’s still much to be decided for the Bandit’s playoff hopes. Last week the Bandits clinched a playoff spot with a big win in Boston, but with two games this weekend the squad is looking to lock up a home playoff game or two. They will have the chance tonight when they take on the Rochester Knighthawks at HSBC Arena.

The last time the two teams met, Rochester came away with a 15-14 overtime win at Blue Cross Arena. The away crowd had at least a few thousand Bandits fans in it according to media reports, which clearly tells you the amount of support this team gets. Those fans will be in the Arena tonight and looking for revenge.

If the Bandits can win and get some help, they will lock up a home game in the first round of the NLL Playoffs. That’s sure to help the bottom line, which Kevin at Bfloblog had an excellent piece on recently. A few wins this weekend would mean locking up the East division, which means the Bandits stay home for at least two postseason games.

Rochester is led by forwards Shawn Evans and Shawn Williams, who both have huge point totals compared to their teammates. In fact, no Knighthawk has more than half of their point totals. With a good defensive effort, the Bandits can limit their chances and capitalize on their own so the game doesn’t remain close.

Of course, the Bandits have had trouble with secondary scoring as well. Other than Tavares and Steenhuis Buffalo has had little success getting consistent scoring, and guys like Accursi and Bomberry need to pick up the slack when the defense zeros in on Buffalo’s stars.

Look for Ken Montour to get the start for Buffalo, and Pat O’Toole to start in net for Rochester.

7:30pm from HSBC Arena. We’ll have a game recap up tomorrow as well as a preview for tomorrow night’s Titans game, too.