By Alex Pagliano - Bandits.com
After an impressive character win at home Friday night, the Bandits travel to Philadelphia for a 4 p.m. faceoff against the Wings on Sunday. The two teams met previously on Dec 28, when the Wings handed the Bandits a 17-13 home loss. Bandits leading goal scorer Ryan Benesch expects things to change tomorrow when the two teams meet.
“We want to get both wins this weekend,” he said. “We owe Philadelphia a better game. They came in here and pushed us around, so now, we’re going into their house and we’re going to do the same.”
Buffalo got off to a good start, winning their first game of the weekend 12-10 against the Toronto Rock.
Benesch recorded two goals in the season-opening loss. After the game, he credited former Minnesota teammate and current Philadelphia goaltender, Evan Kirk, on a strong performance.
“When [Kirk] is on, they’re going to be a tough team to beat,” he said.
Kirk ranks seventh in the league (min. 60 minutes) with a .750 save percentage. In his two-year NLL career, Kirk is 1-1 against the Bandits.
An impressive second-half offensive showing against Toronto leads Benesch to believe that the team is buying into Cordingley’s system, a concept that he thought previously got away from the team in the Week One loss.
“There’s nothing but smiles in that locker room,” he said. “We come to work for each other. We do not have anyone who works for themselves; we’re all playing for the team. That’s what families do.”
The meeting will be the second game of the weekend for both teams. The game will be the second of a back-to-back for the Wings. They play in Rochester Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley alluded earlier in the week that two games in one weekend would not affect how he approached making the lineup, adding that he was solely focused on taking care of Toronto before looking at Philadelphia.
Fans can watch the action on the NLL’s YouTube channel.