As muddied as the National League Playoff has been, one thing is clear with much undecided.
Kevin M. Neibauer
LaxPhilly– Part of the Edge of Philly Sports Network .
Despite a hiccup losing streak, the Buffalo Bandits flexed their muscles to defeat a playoff hopeful Georgia Swarm, 18-9 in a Saturday Week 20 Battle.
If there was any doubt, Dhane Smith solidified his claim to the NLL Most Valuable Player with his nine point night.
To the Game
Georgia was Swarming with Brendan Bomberry (1g,1a). Hitting net at the 2:44 mark
Chris Cloutier (3g,5a) took the sting away just under a minute later to even the score at 1-1.
Josh Byrne (3g,3a) followed by a Steve Priolo (1g) marker gave the Bandits a two goal edge at 3-1.
Lyle Thompson set up brother Miles ( 2g,1a) to end the back and forth first quarter with a 3-2 score.
Let the fireworks begin with an offensive explosion of twelve goals.
Buffalo would take control with an eight goal uprising.
With :51 played, Joel White got it even at 3…That would be the Georgia highlight.
Despite LyleThompson (1g,5a) giving the Swarm a lead, Buffalo flexed their muscles and took control
Connor Fields (2g,3a), Cloutier, Fields, Chase Fraser (1g,2a), Kyle Buchanan (1g,4a), Smith (2g,7 asssis)), Tehoka Nanticoke (2g,3a), and another from Smith more than offset the Georgia markers.
Shayne Jackson (1g,1a),and Jordan MacIntosh (1g,2a) supplied the Swarm offense to end the 11-6 half.
To the Third
Thimgs would simmer down with only four goals. Buffalo continued to keep their foot on the accelerator with a 3-1 advantage,fueled by Smith setting up Josh Byrne on the advantage at 4:12.
Matt Spanger ,(1g) pushed it to 13-6 eighteen seconds later.
Stephan Leblanc stopped the run before Smith and Byrne set up Cloutier to end the third with a 14-7 Bandits lead.
To the Fourth
TJ Comizio would get it to a 14-8 game before the Bandits piled it on with Ian MacKay (1g) and Nanticoke lighting the lamp.
Miles Thompsom ,(2g,1a) potted the final Swarm goal.with Byrne and Fields putting the finishing touches on the 18-9 game.
• Shots heavily went the Buffalo way, 65-37.
• Power Plays revealed Buffalo going 3 of 4 and Georgia going 0 for 3.
• Connor Kirst went 13 of 21 from the dot for the Swarm.
• Matt Vinc stopped 28 Georgia shore.
• Craig Wende went 35:24 with 8 goals allowed and 30 saves for the Swarm.
• Mike Poulin stopped 17 shots in his 24:36.
BuffalonLocks up East
Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.