Bandits score season-low seven goals in second consecutive loss
Cody Jamieson had nine points (two goals, seven assists) and Cory Vitarelli added four goals as the streaking Rochester Knighthawks (3-3) cruised to a 15-7 victory over the Buffalo Bandits (3-3). Goaltender Matt Vinc made 48 saves for the Knighthawks, including 32 in the first half.
“[Vinc] played well and we shot bad again, and it adds up to frustration,” Bandits head coach Darris Kilgour said.
The Bandits have now lost two straight and finished a three-game home stand 1-2. The Bandits now trail the all-time series between the two teams with a 20-27 record.
The Bandits did not lead once in the game and didn’t get off to the start they wanted. Less than a minute into the game, Bandits forward Chad Culp was cross-checked from behind in the Knighthawks’ zone and got shaken up on the play.
The Knighthawks took advantage of the opportunity, pouncing on a loose ball and Joe Walters finished off a play right in front of Bandits goalie Anthony Cosmo to take an early 1-0 lead. Culp would return to the game.
“You can’t blame a play that happened in the first minute of the game on what happened in the other 59 minutes,” Kilgour said. “We got outplayed in every aspect of the game.”
Things would continue to not go the Bandits’ way, as Rochester scored two more goals in the 1st quarter to go up 3-0.
The Bandits came within two early in the 2nd quarter, as David Brock rushed up the floor after a Knighthawks turn over and ripped a shot over Vinc’s left shoulder to make it 3-1. Brock had two goals in the game.
That would be as close as the Bandits got, however, as Mike Accursi scored just 28 seconds later, and Stephen Keogh added another goal two minutes later to give Rochester a 5-1 lead. Kilgour elected to pull starting goaltender Anthony Cosmo after that.
“That’s a night that you want to forget from top to bottom. We just didn’t have the energy or the passion, and that came right from me to our front end,” Cosmo said. “You’re looking down the other end and [Vinc] has everything going for him and on my end, the ball hits me and still finds a way in. It’s frustrating. We play these guys next week and we’ll be a better team.”
The Knighthawks managed four unanswered goals before the Bandits could answer back and never really gave the Bandits an opportunity for a comeback.
“It was an old-fashioned [rear end] kicking,” Kilgour said. “We didn’t play well the first game of the season and this one was obviously a stinker, but the three games in between that we showed a lot of heart and a lot of character. We just couldn’t get on a roll tonight.”
Bandits captain John Tavares once again sat the game out with a calf injury. The team still refused to allow his absence to serve as an excuse for the loss.
“We can’t blame it on not having someone in the lineup,” Kilgour said. “We have to look at ourselves as coaches and as players and we have to get better.”
“It’s tough on all of us without him in the lineup, but it’s lacrosse,” forward Shawn Williams said. “Their chances, for the most part went in, and we had our chances. It’s tough, but that’s our league.”
The Bandits will have an opportunity to avenge the loss right away, as they well travel to Rochester next Saturday to play the Knighthawks once more to close out the home and home series. The Bandits beat the Knighthawks, 14-13, the first time they played in Rochester this season.