Donville The Hero In Panther City Overtime Victory

The Panther City Lacrosse Club (7-7) faced the Buffalo Bandits (7-7) at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth Friday evening.  This was the Bandits first meeting ever with Panther City.

Reigning 2023 NLL Rookie of the Year, Jonathan Donville has played strongly as of late, recording 19 points (8g,11a) in his last three games.  Jason Knox and Ryan Sheridan have combined for 29 goals (Knox – 17 & Sheridan – 12) this season.

The Bandits entered the matchup with two of the top three highest scoring offensive players in the league. Josh Byrne (94 points – 37g,57a) and Dhane Smith (18g,72a) are second and third in league in scoring.  Defensively, Ian McKay (team leading 120 loose balls), Steve Priolo (team leading 19 caused turnovers) and goalie Matt Vinc are the main stalwarts for the Bandits ‘D’.

“To see what they do behind the scenes, it’s no surprise they’re as successful as they are,” Bandits Transition man Ian MacKay said. “When we go shoot, we’re there for probably two and a half hours, if not longer. … To see it actually come to fruition in games and see it front row, it’s pretty cool.”

Quote courtesy of the Buffalo Bandits

The goalie match-up had Matt Vinc in net for Buffalo facing Nick Damude in net for Panther City.

The first half looked like it would be a scorefest with the teams scoring six goals in the first eight minutes.  The goalies took over from then on, only yeilding four goals in the next 22:00.  Panther City goalie Nick Damude even added a goal of his own at the end of the first quarter.

While the third quarter was more subdued, the fourth was explosive.   Buffalo got on a four goal run to jump out in front, but a shorthanded and power play goal from Will Malcom tied it up.  Tehoka Nanticoke scored with just 0:53 seconds left to give the Bandits the lead, but Callum Crawford tied it up with  just 0:20 seconds remaining.

In overtime, after a few saves from both goalies, Jonathan Donville ended the game with with side arm skip shot that beat Matt Vinc for the Panther City 12-11 victory.

To The Game:

The Bandits opened up the scoring when Josh Byrne fired a laser from the outside off a Chris Cloutier feed at 2:23.  Panther City answered back when Will Malcom fired a high to low blast off a Jason Knox pass 0:47 srcomds later.  Buffalo regained the lead with Josh Byrne scooping up a loose ball at the side of the net off a Tehoka Nanticoke rebound at 3:55, but Jonathan Donville tied the game scoring off a Will Malcom pass at 5:31.

Josh Byrne’s third of the night came off a skip pass from Dhane Smith from in close at 6:35.  Ty Thompson answered for Panther City with his first goal of the year.  A low to low shot off a Jonathan Donville pass beat Matt Vinc at 8:35.

The Bandits pulled their goalie for the extra attacker with 0:26 seconds left.  Nick Damude made a big save with only a few seconds to play in the quarter, then fired a strike down the floor to score into the Bandits empty net with just 0:01.5 seconds left.

After one quarter, Panther City 4 Buffalo 3.

Second Quarter:

Ty Thompson scored his second of the night with a blast off a Will Malcom pass at 3:25, but a goal from Kyle Buchanan diving from behind the net brought Buffalo within one, converting a Josh Byrne pass 0:37 seconds later. 

The Bandits tied the game with Dhane Smith firing a side arm blast off a Chris Cloutier pass at 12:38. 

At the half, Buffalo 5 Panther City 5.

Third Quarter:

Panther City finally opened the second half scoring in transition with Dylan Hutchison converting a Brandon Goodwin pass at 7:01, followed by Will Malcom creating a caused turnover, then finishing the play beating Matt Vinc to the glove side at 8:42.

Dhane Smith got the Bandits on the board with great footwork, using the Panther City defenseman for a screen at 10:12, but Jonathan Donville answered with a shot while falling down off a Will Malcom pass at 13:53.

After three quarters, Panther City 8 Buffalo 6.

Fourth Quarter:

Adam Bomberry opened the fourth quarter scoring in transition for the Bandits off a Cory Highfield feed at 1:23 , followed by a howitzer from Josh Byrne to tie the game at 2:21.  The Bandits continued their run with Byrne ‘s fifth of the night off a Dhane Smith pass 0:21 seconds later.

Chris Cloutier blasted a shot that Damude originally made a save on.  The momentum squeaked the ball under his pad, rolling into the net at 5:24.  Panther City challenged the call, but on review it was deemed a good goal.

Will Malcom’s third of the night shorthanded, brought Panther City within one goal off a Callum Crawford pass at 8:23, followed by his fourth on a quick stick again off a Crawford pass, this time on the power-play at 11:43.

Tehoka Nanticoke scored for the Bandits diving across the crease, hitting the top corner at 14:07, but Panther City tied the game when Callum Crawford blasted a shot with the shot clock at two seconds left, at 19:40.

After regulation, Buffalo 11 Panther City 11.

Overtime:

Jonathan Donville’s third of the night ended the game with a low to low skip shot that eluded Matt Vinc at 1:32.

Final score, Panther City 12 Buffalo 11.

The Three Stars:

1. Jonathan Donville
2. Josh Byrne
3. Will Malcom

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal favored Buffalo 62-48.
  • The faceoff battle went to the Bandits 17-9.
  • The loose ball battle was also win by Buffalo 81-63.
  • Buffalo went 0 for 3 on the power-play, while Panther City went 1 for 3, also scoring a shorthanded goal.

Top Scorers:

Buffalo Bandits:

  • Josh Byrne 5g, 2a
  • Dhane Smith 2g, 5a
  • Chris Cloutier 1g, 3a
  • Tehoka Nanticoke 1g, 3a

Panther City Lacrosse Club:

  • Will Malcom 4g,3a
  • Jonathan Donville 3g,2a
  • Callum Crawford 1g, 3a

Don’t forget to check us out every Sunday night at 9pm (ET) on www.eopsports.com

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.

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