Niagara Gazette — After being shutout in the third quarter, but Buffalo Bandits scored five times in a span of 3:30 during the fourth Saturday night to earn a 12-8 win over the Rochester Knighthawks in Game 1 of a two-game NLL semifinal playoff series.
Buffalo captain John Tavaras opened and closed the scoring on the late run and finished with four goals and two assists. Mark Steenhuis led the Bandits with seven points (4+3) while goaltender Anthony Cosmo stopped 36 of 44 shots.
Steenhuis scored the first two goals of the game in the opening two minutes, but Rochester recovered to take a 4-2 lead early in the second. Buffalo finished the quarter on a 4-1 run, highlighted by Tavares' flying wraparound goal. The 45-year-old jumped around Rochester goaltender Matt Vinc and a defender from behind the net, extending his arms while airborne to beat Vinc far side.
The teams will play Game 2 at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Rochester's Blue Cross Arena. A win will push the Bandits, who closed the season on an 0-8 skid, into the NLL Championship. Should Rochester win, the teams will immediately play a 10-minute "deciding game" for the right to advance.
Buffalo is 0-2 in Rochester this year.