Blogs | 3/3/2009 12:31:37 PM | John Gurtler
A Denver native, John Gurtler has been the voice of the Buffalo Bandits the past six seasons. Gurtler has also done play-by-play with the Rochester Americans and Buffalo Sabres and has served as the stadium voice for the Buffalo Bills. Gurtler will share his thoughts and unique perspective each week with Bandits fans.
Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
Ouch, that hurt.
Now I am not going to pull a Lucinda Bassett infomercial and announce my ultimate depression by jumping into the deep fat-fryer on the concourse. But being so close to the Bandits game Saturday night, like the other 18,690 family members, the 16-15 loss to the Minnesota Swarm put a little twinge into the stride from that bite. Yea, kinda like having the sails knock out of your wind - the game was a little crazy.
Wearing the bi-partisan hat, I've got to say it was a very entertaining game right down to the waning seconds when Roger Vyse bent the crossbar with a burning shot only to cascade to a Minnesota player and then "good night ladies and gentlemen of Banditland, please drive safely."
From a numbers overview, there is something very strange when you look at the official National Lacrosse League printable game sheet. It's got a give-and-take look.
You know, give a little, take a little?
Kind of like that little kick-tart of character on the NY Lottery's Take Five game, "a little bit-o-luck?" The Bandits would take five goals and Minnesota would counter with one.
Two more and Minnesota looked like that little squirt trying to jump in the open car door. And then the Bandits would drive off, then slow down again, waiting for him - then driving off, laughing in the exhausted face of the Swarm who played the night before in Toronto.
The score was 8-3 in favor of the Bandits in the second quarter and you could hear remnants of Dandy Don Meredith sing "Turn out the lights, the party's over."
However, bees love to swarm and when they do, energy is created, just like an avalanche, and it builds and builds and before you know it you've got an uncontrolled mayhem that can cause serious damage.
It was as if we where all exhausted from jumping out of our seats eight times, like senate majority leader Nancy Pelosi behind President Obama during his speech last Tuesday night. Watching the Swarm in amazement shred the Bandit five-goal lead, going up two goals themselves.
In all, seven consecutive Minnesota goals and the Bandits were stung. Frozen-in honey shock. What did you say? Was that honey as in "honey, please spackle and paint the house?" Or "honey, you better watch out for those bees, you know how you breakout."
For around eight minutes the Bandits were in their own production of Butterflies are Free.
If it wasn't for Chris White doing a Joe Pesci-is-that-funny-as-in-ha-ha on one of the Minnesota players, no telling what the score might have been. Two short-handed tallies from White's five and the Bandits took five and a three-goal lead. The game was crazy.
But Minnesota needed just three minutes to play their version of Dave Burbank's Take Five and with one real minute left, the Swarm started charting their official fly-by to the five rows of their fans from St. Paul, don't cha-know.
Could it happen? Please, getting up too fast can cause dizziness. Consult the person at the end of the row for advice and give the ball to Bomberry!
With 44 seconds left, which is a long time in this game, I really felt the Bandits would do it! And how many times will we relive that Roger Vyse shot? That dart was headed right to the icemaker in the freezer but the darn crossbar got in the way.
A trio of four-goal performances by Tavares, Steenhuis and Accursi; good defense by Phil Sanderson, particularly in the first part of the game; good first-home appearance and eight loose balls by Pat McCready; 39 saves from Kenny Montour, which included one of the best saves all season, robbing Aaron Wilson from a point-blank shot at the corner of the net with his big threaded web; five power play goals and three short-handed goals.
Now, that doesn't hurt too much, does it?
A 7-2 record and this team has not seen the likes of Boston and New York. Maybe it was good to get stung.
Good luck to the five Bandits going to the National Lacrosse League All-Star Game this weekend in Denver, Colorado: John Tavares, Mark Steenhuis, Roger Vyse, Chris White and Ken Montour.