3/9/2019 8:11:00 AM / Nick Konotopskyj
The Bandits are set to return home Saturday night after a thrilling come-from-behind victory Friday in Philadelphia. Things won’t get any easier for the Bandits as the 8-4 Georgia Swarm come to KeyBank Center for their second and final meeting of the regular season.
Buffalo can clinch a playoff berth with a win tonight.
Saturday’s game will be held at 7:30 p.m. It is also Native American Night. Tickets are on sale now.
Buffalo crushed the Swarm in the first matchup 19-9 in Georgia so Buffalo should be expecting a Swarm team that is looking to get revenge this time around. The Bandits come into this game with a record of 10-2, which is 1.5 games ahead of the next closest team in the league (Toronto Rock at 7-2).
This is a matchup of the two best offenses in the NLL. Buffalo has 174 goals in 12 games while Georgia has 143 goals in 12 games. The Bandits continue their strong play as they have now won six games in a row and nine out of their last 10 games.
Buffalo is led in scoring by Shawn Evans with 71 points (24+47) and Dhane Smith with 71 points (17+54). Corey Small leads the team in goals with 27 on the season while Thomas Hoggarth has 24 goals and Chase Fraser has 23 goals.
Just like Buffalo, the Swarm have two of the most prolific goal scorers in the NLL. Lyle Thompson leads them with 69 points (30+39) and Randy Staats has 66 points (23+43). Holden Cattoni is another dangerous offensive threat for Georgia who has 55 points (18+37).
Bandits goalie Matt Vinc has been steady as a rock in net for the Bandits all season long. Even while facing a multiple goal deficit, Vinc made huge saves down the stretch on Friday night which was huge because it gave the Bandits a chance to make a comeback.
Saturday’s game against Georgia is the start of the most difficult stretch of the season for Buffalo. All six of the Bandits remaining opponents, including Georgia, are above .500 and represent the top half of the NLL.
In particular, this game against Georgia and the two games against Toronto in a few weeks are extremely important because they’re divisional opponents and those games could determine who gets home field advantage in the playoffs.
If you can’t make it to the game, you can listen in on WGR 550 or watch with a B/R Live subscription.