Whose House? NLL Championship Will Go Through Bandits House

In what I expected to be an absolute barn burner of a game, the 2008 Eastern Championship game ended up a somewhat lopsided affair. The 2008 Champions Cup be will hosted by the Buffalo Bandits after their 19-12 win against the New Your Titans Saturday night.

Most of the first half appeared to be more of an “Air Gait” competition than an indoor box lacrosse game. With, by my count five goals scored, and another two disallowed in the first two quarters, much of both teams offense was coming from behind the goal.

New York came out strong and held early leads of 3-1 and 4-2 in an extremely high tempo, and emotional first 30 minutes. I was thinking that early on, this was the game plan for New York; to use their youth and their speed to wear down the veteran Bandit team. But a four goal run started by Buffalo in the late 1st quarter, and a 4-1 second quarter gave them a lead that they would not relinquish. The score at the half was Buffalo 9 and New York 5.

The teams played a close third quarter with New York edging Buffalo 5-4, but again the Bandits box and playoff experience showed in a penalty laden fourth quarter which saw the Bandits outscore New York 6-2.

Mark Steenhuis was magic on the night scoring seven goals and adding an assist. It seemed that everything he was throwing at the New York net was going in. John Tavares added two goals and ten helpers, while Brett Bucktooth and Kevin Dostie each had hat tricks. Last week’s hero Mike Accursi had two goals, Roger Vyse and Billy Dee Smith both added a single score. Ken Montour stopped 41 of 53 shots and pretty much shut the door in the fourth quarter.

For New York Brendan Mundorf and Pat Maddalena both scored three goals, while Casey Powell had two. Singles went to Jarret Park, Greg Peyser, Jeff Ratcliffe and Mike McLellan. Matt Vinc did not have his greatest game stopping 15 of 30 shots and being replaced by Erik Miller for most of the fourth frame.

It was a very spirited affair and definitely playoff lacrosse. The one thing that stood out to me, is that the refs let the players play. But it appeared the players on both sides quickly saw that and began to take liberties on one another relatively early in the game. With the built up frustrations from the game itself as well as the dislike for each from earlier this season, the fourth quarter saw a few fisticuffs and player ejections.

While we were unable to get down for the pregame, we did catch a bunch of video which can be seen below:

[livevideo id=A66C57817AE142E8A55426520F230832]

Hands down, with a seven goal night, the player of the game was Mark Steenhuis of the Bandits, and he was nice enough to join me after the game for a few words:

[livevideo id=2566F7E498EE413C86A0F4DB4BEE14F2]

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1 Comment

  1. Marksy, thanks for doing this.

    The write up and video clips covering the game was well done and the Steenhuis interview was great.


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