Blogs | 4/2/2014 4:08:06 PM | John Gurtler
The Buffalo Bandits traveled 10,000 miles in 10 days and experienced 10 separate time changes over the course of their three-game road swing. I would say that is a pretty good diagnosis for road weary.
If there is no crying in baseball, then there are no excuses in lacrosse. This is the game that originated with no boundaries, and you could run for miles without rest.
So there is no excuse for Buffalo’s 12-8 losing performance last Saturday night in Vancouver, other than they picked the farthest spot from home to have a stinker of a game.
The team knew the second half of the season was not going to be a picnic with little road jaunts to Toronto and Rochester. No, the first three road games were massive miles over the snow-covered prairies, frozen tundra and the lush sea air of British Columbia.
I really thought after what goaltender Anthony Cosmo said last week about getting a pretty good snot-kickin’, the team would turn things around. But the Stealth took flight 19 seconds in and never looked back.
Following the 3-3 tie at the end of one, Vancouver’s four-goal run in the second was just too much to overcome. A total of 21 forced turnovers to Buffalo’s two pretty much tells the story.
Sure, there were a couple of good rushes and eight different Bandits scored a goal. And Anthony Cosmo made 49 saves while being peppered for 61 shots. He kept the game from getting out of hand. Cosmo has registered seven 45-plus save performances this year.
Now, to extract the positives. Joe Resetarits kept his scoring streak going and now has seven goals and four assists in his last four games. Aaron Wilson, our UnderArmour player profile in the pre-game show, said he is starting to find his game after early season injuries. Wilson now has six goals and 10 points in the six games he has played.
Jamie Rooney has points in every game played, including six points (3+3) in his last three. And since being held pointless on February 15 against Philadelphia, Dhane Smith has 15 points (4+11) in his last five games.
The team can ball. There is no excuse.
I am sure the players are glad that leg of the road schedule is complete and the friendly confines of the First Niagara Center await their next encounter this Saturday night with the Calgary Roughnecks.
Calgary is not desperate, they are just plain good, and they will come out gunning. But they also play in Philadelphia on Friday night, too.
Saturday’s game will also be “Tucker out Lymphoma Night,” an awareness night and support event for Shawn Williams’ eight-year old son, Tucker. The team will wear a special jersey calling attention to the fight against Lymphoma and the challenges a young person like Tucker is faced with.
There will be several events on the concourse, including the popular Lacrosse Ball Surprise, where fans can purchase an autographed ball for $10. Fans can also purchase one of 51 limited-edition, team-signed “Braver that Brave” hats for $51.
And there will be a silent auction on the 100 concourse level (sections 107-109) featuring some really great lacrosse autographed jerseys and all sort of gear.
The jerseys worn by the Bandits in the second half will go up for auction on bandits.com starting Sunday, April 6 through Sunday, April 13.
The Sabres Store will open at 3 p.m. on Saturday with a limited quantity of “Braver Than Brave” replica jerseys for sale, along with other official Bandits gear.
You can purchase a 300 level ticket for $15 and the Bandits will donate $5 from this offer for Tucker’s fight.
I will guarantee you this, if Tucker is anything like his dad, he’ll whoop this.
Randy Mearns returns to the broadcast booth with me Saturday night, with the pre-game show getting underway at 6:30 p.m. Saturday is an earlier-than-usual 7 p.m. faceoff (to accommodate the national TSN coverage in Canada), and it can be heard on ESPN 1520 and WGWE-FM 105.9.
A very special thank you goes out to Teddy Jenner who did color with me on the radio broadcast last Saturday night in Vancouver. The former NLL’er, who spent some time in Rochester, is now a broadcaster in the Vancouver area. Jenner also writes for ILIndoor.com and is still actively involved with lacrosse with BC’s long-standing rich heritage.