4/20/2019 11:50:00 PM / Nick Konotopskyj
Saturday’s game against the New England Black Wolves was the final home game of the regular season for the Buffalo Bandits, meaning it was also the last chance for fans to come out and support their team before the postseason begins.
For Fan Appreciation Night at KeyBank Center, numerous prizes and giveaways were offered to those who have been supporting the Bandits all year. A total of 16,559 fans helped Buffalo earn a 12-6 win Saturday night and clinch first place in the NLL.
“Buffalo is definitely the best place to play in the National Lacrosse League,” head coach John Tavares said. “We truly have the best fans and we’re looking to give them some home playoff games and hopefully some championship games as well.”
Buffalo has one game remaining in the regular season (April 27 in San Diego), but they will start the postseason on Saturday, May 4 at KeyBank Center against the New England Black Wolves in Banditland. Tickets for that game are on sale now.
“Any time we can give back to those fans who make it out every game, then we’ll do it,” said Dhane Smith. “I know we had a snow storm earlier this year and we still got 14,000 fans out here to support us. They are our seventh man all season.”
Before Saturday’s game, a list of season awards was also presented. Chase Fraser won the Unsung Hero award, Ian MacKay won Rookie of the Year, Steve Priolo won Defensive Player of the Year, Dhane Smith was named the Offensive Player of the Year, and Matt Vinc won Most Valuable Player.
“It seems like every game that we get more and more fans,” Vinc said. “It’s a great environment and it’s the first time that I’ve been able to play in front of that many fans and it’s really special and hopefully something that can go a long way in the playoffs.”