Niagara Gazette

Sports

January 26, 2014

Bandits hang on for win over Rochester

Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — The Buffalo Bandits have caught fire. Fueling them has been the man minding their net.

Anthony Cosmo has proved integral to a Buffalo winning streak that’s run to four games thanks to an 11-10 win over the Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday night in front of 13,339 at First Niagara Center. With the victory, Buffalo (4-1) passed Rochester (3-1) and assumed first place in the East.

Cosmo entered the contest second in the National Lacrosse League in saves and stopped 46 more Saturday. He started hot and sustained for much of the remainder, going unblemished in the first quarter, the second time in four games he’s shut out an opponent in a quarter.

Bandits coach Troy Cordingley thinks the 36-year-old Cosmo looks to have the All-Star form he possessed before he arrived in Buffalo in 2012.

“He was sensational,” Cordingley said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence. I think him and the defense are on the same page. He seems to be playing like he did three or four years ago.”

Cosmo was four minutes from an all-time performance, giving up only five goals in the first 56 minutes. But a late surge saw the Knighthawks score five goals in a 3:35 span to cut the lead to 11-10 with 19 seconds to go.

That doesn’t offset the quality job done between the pipes, however.

“All of a sudden it was 6 on 5 and we were letting them tee up and thank God Coz was making some saves,” Cordingley said. “But look at their offense. Anybody can score on that offense.”

It seemed for some time Cosmo would flirt with the team record of least goals allowed in a game (four, done twice). Rochester was held off the board for the first 23:16 of the game.

Joel McCready netted the first Knighthawk tally with 6:44 left in the second. That came after Rochester had several in-close chances, including a breakaway, to start the quarter. Before that initial goal, Cosmo had stopped the first 17 shots.

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