Accursi, Vyse Power Bandits Past Hawks

The Buffalo Bandits and the Rochester Knighthawks renewed acquaintances on Good Friday at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo. The Bandits are looking at clinching another Divisional Championship and home floor advantage as far as they can go, while the Knighthawks are playing to get into the playoffs. Rochester can grab the fourth and last playoff spot if the win their remaining three games, or with two wins this weekend and a Toronto win in Philly on Saturday night. In the end, the Bandits, were too much and outlasted Rochester by a 13-9 score.

Both teams came out of the gate playing physical as they usually do against one another. Buffalo opened up a 2-0 lead less than five minutes in on goals by Billy Dee Smith and Roger Vyse. Not the start Rochester was looking for as I’m sure keeping the Buffalo crowd of 17,118 out of the game was a pregame comment by the Rochester Coaching staff.

The Hawks would battle back and take a 3-2 lead on goals by Joe Walters, Craig Point, and Ken Millin. Point’s goal was a beauty. He made a move to cut through the middle, and after receiving a feed from Shawn Williams, Point threw a quick back handed shot over the shoulder of starter Ken Montour.

But the Bandits at home have always been a tough team to beat, and they would go on to score four of the next five goals and take a lead at half time of 6-4. A couple of goals showed glimpses of “old time lacrosse” that would have pleased even the stingiest of old timers (like me). With all of the outside shooting in the game today, it was quite refreshing to see Mike Accursi drive through the middle, knowing the punishment that usually comes with that move. Accursir took a pass from John Tavares and never had the ball in his stick. He quickly deposited it behind Paddy O’Toole before O’Toole could react to the movement of the ball. Moments later, Mark Steenhuis was driving the net with the ball, and caught Tavares breaking to the net from the Bandits bench. At the last second he gave the ball, and the crafty veteran waited until O’Toole and the Rochester defender had fully committed across the floor before he gave it back to Steenhuis. Steenhuis had the open net, and let O’Toole dive and fall before putting the ball into the empty net. What a sweet goal.

The second half started with the Hawks bursting out of the gate scoring three in a row and the momentum had yet again swung in their favour. Jason Henhawk, Shawn Evans and Shawn Williams would put the Hawks up by one. But before they enjoy the lead too long Pat McCready would tie the game, before Accursi would get his second of the game. While cutting across the high slot with the ball, Accursi would go back across his body and bury the ball by Montour. The score after three was 8-7 Bandits.

Cory Bomberry opened the fourth quarter only a minute and a half in by driving low across the front of the net, and firing a shot past O’Toole before landing in the crease. The Bandit faithful then took over and watched their team dominate the fourth. Roger Vyse would score his second and third of the game, while Mike Accursi would get his third as well. Sandwiched in between, Shawn Williams would score on a nice quick stick just off the crease. Chris Schiller added another, but it was not meant to be on the night for the Hawks. John Tavares would add an empty netter to make the final 13-9.

Other Game Notes:

– I never get tired of seeing the Banditland faithful support their team. Another near packed house tonight, and they made themselves be heard. What a party atmosphere.
– Ken Montour out duelled Paddy O’Toole as the Hawks outshot the Bandits 61-45
– a pretty clean but physical game, Buffalo was 0-3 on the PP, Rochester was 1-3
– Buffalo now secures themselves no worse than second place in the East. I’m sure they are not content with that though.
– Rochester will now be in a tougher spot, battling Philadelphia and Toronto for that final playoff spot in the East.

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5 Comments

  1. why was Cody Jacobs not playing tonight ? they announced that he would be playing in his first bandits home game. but he was a No show. This Kid has alot of talant & could add to the Bandits already powerhouse style of play

  2. I don’t know. They actually announced him in the pregame presentations, but he never came out onto the floor. We counted and Buffalo was a player short on their bench. Not sure why he didn’t come out.

  3. Huh? Jacobs was playing and got just one assist. Dostie didn’t play, but probably should have ahead of Jacobs.

  4. I never saw Jacobs at all for the entire night. I was at the game and I do know for sure Dostie defeinitley played.

  5. My mistake, I assumed this was yesterday’s Buffalo game since it was practically at the top of the page.

    Was talking about last night’s game, sorry.


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