Niagara Gazette

Sports

January 25, 2014

Bandits host Rochester tonight

Niagara Gazette — The Buffalo Bandits welcome the defending champs to town at the right time.

The Rochester Knighthawks come to First Niagara Center tonight for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff to square off with a Bandits team that has won three straight since dropping their season opener. It’s also a rematch of last year’s win-or-go-home regular season finale in which the winner advanced to the playoffs and the loser took the next eight months off.

It was Rochester coming out on the right side of a 10-9 decision. The Knighthawks haven’t lost since as they went on to capture their second consecutive National Lacrosse League title in 2013. They are winners of their first three games this year, making it seven straight victories dating back to that last go-around with Buffalo.

In a matchup of perhaps the two hottest teams in the NLL, the Bandits (3-1) can gauge how much improvement they’ve really made since Rochester (3-0) kept them out of the postseason. The winner will also assume first place in the East.

“It’s a litmus test, I guess,” Bandits General Manager Steve Dietrich said. “Rochester is the best in the league, back-to-back champs. This is going to let us know how far we still have to go, you could say, before we can be talked about in the same sentence as teams like that.”

Buffalo’s latest victory was a 16-9 thumping of Colorado last week. Each passing game has represented a more complete game for the Bandits, and Dietrich believes the play of the back end has been key to early success. Especially that of Anthony Cosmo, who sports an 11.50 goals against average while going 3-0.

“I think our defense and our transition game is really starting to gel,” Dietrich said. “Coz is playing like we know Coz can play. We’re hoping that our offense is eventually going to catch up to the ‘D’ and the transition and play to their capabilities.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page