Buffalo A Step Closer to Division Title

Photo Courtesy: Sally K. Blacksnake

Kevin M. Neibauer
LaxPhilly- A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network.

The Top Two Teams in the East Division met up for the first of a home and weekend series.

The first place Buffalo Bandits move to 11-1 with a 16-11 defeat of the second place, Halifax Thunderbirds who fall to 8-4.

“When everything’s said and done, we will find out who is at the top of the East after this weekend,” Buffalo Captain, Steve Priolo.

The first half was a tale of two quarters.

Dhane Smith (3g, 6a) put up four points in the quarter with a pair of goals and assists to give Buffalo a 5-3 lead after 15:00.

Halifax completely dominated the second stanzax with a five goal run and Shawn Evans putting up a trio of assists.

Stephen Keogh added a goal and an assist.

First Quarter

It took all of :33 for Chris Cloutier (2g) to put Buffalo on the board with help from the dynamic duo, Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne.

Eric Fannell (2g,1a) had an answer just a minute five later with the first assist of the day from Evans and Clarke Petterson (3a).

Newly activated, Dawson Theede (4g,1a) paid immediate dividends off a pretty set up from Cody Jamieson and Chris Boushy (2a).

With just 2:23 played, we had three goals

The goals would keep coming with Buffalo engineering the first run of the day

Ian MacKay (2g, 1a) at 3:55, Dhane Smith 1:50 later and Connor Fields (1g, 3a) scoring on the advantage got it to a 4-2 game.

Stephen Keogh (2g,2a) put an end to the run with Smith putting an end to the quarter.

Thunderbirds Turn

Connor Fields and Byrne (3g,4a) matched up for the first of the afternoon from Byrne to make it 6-3.

Halifax found another gear with, Keogh from Evans and Chris Boushy, Fannell, Tyson Bell (1g), Theede and Cody Jamieson (1g, 3a) ended the half with an 8-6 Halifax advantage.

The Chess Match Kicks In

Despite the deluge, the Bandits weathered the storm.

But, not before Theede hit for his hat trick with another quick strike.

This one :36 to push the Halifax run to six goals and a three goal lead,9-6.

Buffalo battled back.

Ian MacKay scored short handed off a feed from Ethan O’Connor (2a).

Kyle Buchanan (1g, 2a) hit on the man advantage, from, who else? Smith and Byrne.

Nanticoke (2g,1a) and Byrne made it a four goal flurry.

Shawn Evans (1 g, 5a) stopped the Buffalo push with assists going to Cody Jamieson and the red-hot Theede.

Byrne and Nanticoke closed the third with Buffalo up, 12-10.

To The Fourth

Buffalo kept their pedal to the metal with Smith and Kevin Brownell (1g,1a) making it 14-10.

Theede nailed his fourth before Cloutier and Chase Fraser (1g, 2a) ended the scoring and the 16-11 Buffalo win

Inside the Game

Halifax was very much aware of their lost weekend and the importance of this one.

“We’ve got to find a way. We’re striving to get better week in week out, every week. It’s offense by committee. At the end of day, we get paid to go out there and score goals. That’s what we’ve got to do.” Halifax leader, Cody Jamieson

• Shots on goal had Halifax with a 65-42 advantage.

• Bandits netminder, the ageless Matt Vinc, stopped 54 shots and recorded a pair of assists.

• Warren Hill, Halifax goaltender turned aside 26 Bandits shots

• Power play had Halifax with a goose egg,0 for 7 and Buffalo hitting on 3 of 6.

• Loose Balls were 86-62 for Halifax.

• How dominant was Buffalo in the second half? The Bandits outscored Halifax 10-3.

The same two teams meet in Halifax Sunday afternoon.

Buffalo One Step Closer to Division Title.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.