“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

Lax Philly – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Buffalo Bandits hosted the New York Riptide at Key Bank Arena Saturday night in the second of two meetings this season. Buffalo came in with a magic number of one to secure home-floor advantage throughout the playoffs. New York came in at 4-10, on a two-game slide, with leading scorer Callum Crawford still out due to injury, and all but eliminated from playoff contention. None of that mattered as the Riptide took control of the game from the start and held off a late charge to prevail 15-12, dropping the Bandits to 13-3 on the season.

Surprise Start

The Bandits had no answers for New York in the first quarter, as six different Riptide players scored. Scott Dominey (1:51), Tyler Digby (4:09), Connor Kearnan (6:44), Dan Lomas (7:11), Kieran McArdle (8:31), and Jeff Teat (11:47) all beat Bandits goalie Matt Vinc in the first frame. Buffalo could only counter with Chase Fraser (3g; 5:43).

The second quarter saw New York continue to pour it on. Ron John (4:06) scored his first career NLL goal, followed by Kearnan’s second (7:46) and Teat’s second (8:45) to extend the lead to 9-1. Vinc was pulled for Doug Buchan for the remainder of the half. Ian MacKay (11:34) and Chris Cloutier (12:44) chipped into the Riptide lead, but Teat netted his hat-trick goal at 13:15 to make it 10-3 at halftime.

After Teat, The Deluge

Starting the second half on a power-play, New York restored the 8-goal lead when Larson Sundown (1:10) scored. A few minutes later, Buffalo answered with two goals in 60 seconds. Josh Byrne (3g, 1a; 4:05) on a power play, followed by Connor Fields (4:55).

Teat scored his fourth of the night on a penalty shot at 7:42. Lomas added his second on another Riptide power play at 10:10. Buffalo would respond with Tehoka Nanticoke (13:19) and Fraser’s second (14:06) to make it 13-7 entering the final frame.  

Just 24 seconds into the fourth quarter, Teat scored his fifth goal to push the lead back to seven. Byrne notched his second less than a minute later (1:11). At 5:42, Teat picked up his first career sock trick. Then the Bandits decided to make it a game again, going on a 4-goal run.

Kyle Buchanan (7:45), then Byrne’s hat trick goal 9 seconds later. Dhane Smith, who assisted on 8 Buffalo goals, scored his lone goal of the game at 8:59. Fraser then notched his hat trick with a shorthanded goal at 11:41. With the game slipping away, the atmosphere started getting chippy as the normally well-disciplined Bandits imploded, giving New York two additional penalty shots near the end of the game. Neither attempt converted, but the Riptide managed to lock Buffalo down as the last seconds ticked off arguably their best win of the season.

3 Stars of the Game

  • 1st Star: Jeff Teat (6g, 4a)
  • 2nd Star: Dhane Smith (1g, 8a)
  • 3rd Star: Larson Sundown (1g, 3a)

Other Stats of Note

Smith eclipsed the record for assists in a single season (84), set by Mark Matthews in 2018. He now has 87 assists with two games remaining. Smith also has 126 points, 12 shy of breaking his own record (137) set in 2016.

  • Power Play: NY 2 of 9: BUF 1 of 1
  • MacKay: 10 loose balls (led all players)
  • Thorimbert: 15 of 32 on faceoffs
  • Orleman (NY): 43 saves

The loss, coupled with Toronto’s win, means Buffalo still needs a win or a Toronto loss to clinch the East Division title. Buffalo and Toronto meet in Week 22 for their rubber match.

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and covers NLL, PLL, WLA, and Major Series Lacrosse for the network.