Bandits Arrive In Time To Take First Step To Cup

With the help of the Buffalo Bandits Assistant Coach Jeff Dowling we were able to attend last nights game and capture the video and game report below.  A big Thanks to Jeff and the Bandits organization!

Photos courtesy of M40 images
On Friday night (May 2 / 2008 ) the first game of the 2008 Champions Cup Playoff run was played in Buffalo between the Bandits and Philadelphia Wings.  Although just over 9300 were able to make it out to the game, the Bandit faithful were loud and supported their team prior to, during, and after the game.  Fortunately, for all Bandit followers the team shook off some early miscues, and came out on top of Philly 14-12 to advance to the second round next weekend.

We got into Buffalo in the late afternoon and I just had to get some footage of the faithful tail gaters in the parking lot about an hour and a half prior to the game.  A small group obliged and chatted with us below.  We then caught the late warmup and player intros:

[livevideo id=64BD1CFC2B644AD98BDB0603355F0D4D]

Early on in the game, I felt like I was watching the same script that I have all year at NLL games; one team comes out and dominates the other.  Philadelphia built a 4-1 lead and looked to run away with the game before the first quarter was completed.  Buffalo threw the ball away on three separate occasions that I saw, one of them leading to an intercepted pass.  That pass, to Rob Van Beek was run the floor length and deposited behind Mike Thomson.  Buffalo looked almost confused early with some not expecting passes coming their way. 

As history has proven however, Buffalo shook off the first quarter rust, or nerves, whatever it was, and began to play some lacrosse in the second.  The Bandits went on a five goal run, highlighted by Billy Dee Smith scoring almost a carbon copy goal of the one Van Beek scored in the first (although on a loose ball in the corner) running the floor.  Buffalo’s run took them to the half leading 8-6.

As some might have suggested, Buffalo was late coming out for the second half just like the first.  After Delby Powless made it 9-6, Philadelphia went on a run of their own, scoring four in a row and recapturing the lead at 10-9.  Philly would take that lead into the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter is where I really saw the Buffalo fans take over the game.  The 9300 faithful sounded like 19000 and I saw the reaction in the team on the floor.  I decided to capture some video of pieces of the last 3-4 minutes of the game.  I am certain as a plyer there is no feeling like that of your home fans doing everything in their power to energize you late in a game.  Folks this place was rocking (remember this is just over 9300):

[livevideo id=1D108EC54C3240F98D43FD9D75C7A9A5]

I felt the best player on the night for Buffalo was Mike Accursi.  Two of Mike’s four goals on the night were scored at a critical point in the fourth quarter of the game.  Kevin Dostie had three goals, while Billy Dee Smith and Delby Powless each had two. John Tavares, Brett Bucktooth, and Cory Bomberry all had singles. For the Wings Athan Iannucci led the way with four goals, Jamie Rooney and Jake Bergey each had three, while singles went to Van Beek and Merrick Thomson.

Mike Accursi joined me for a post game conversation:

[livevideo id=F65BB99BE9D04067B5BB3177F7E18388]

Other Game Notes:

– As they did earlier this season, Buffalo conceded the face off to Geoff Snider for almost the entire game. Snider ended up 28/30.
– I thought the challenge for Philly would be to contain the number of Buffalo shots on goal. However Philly outshot Buffalo 58-48
– Many were wondering who would start for both teams; Thompson went the distance for Buffalo, while Blasdell played the first half for Philly, with Miller playing the second half.
– With the Bandits getting great support from the Niagara area, maybe Friday night was not the best night for Canadians to get over to the game. The Bisons also played baseball Friday night.
– Wings were 2-5 on the PP, Bandits were 1-3
– HSBC was so rocking I joined the fans for ht esecond half of the game. What a blast!




  1. KInd of disappointed with less than 10,000 fans at the game. That upper bowl should be better filled for the next game.

  2. I just wanted to say how much I love the work that you guys do. Absolutely top notch considering the time and $$ budgets that you have to work with. Keep it up!

  3. Very good job! Last night was so much fun, I hope we get a better turn out on Saturday!

  4. I think the site and content is fantastic, and of course I love reading about my Bandits doing well!

  5. I am so ticked that I had to attend to my “real” job and miss the trip . The Buffallo fans no matter what sport, have been favorites of mine since I was a liitle kid, right back to the days of the AHL Bisons. I must say that I was shocked at the low attendance figures ther must have been a special on wings somewhere in town that night . So help me Irv Weinstein I will try not to miss another chance at a game in the Niagara Frontier . Its 11 o clock and I have no idea where my children are. I just hope they are at a lacrosse game with great fans like they have in Bandit country. Good luck to the leather lunged faithful at the HSBC next weekend..

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