By TRT Staff with notes from NLL.com
BUFFALO — The Buffalo Bandits defeated the Colorado Mammoth 15-14 on Saturday night at their home arena, the KeyBank Center, in the opening game of the 2022 NLL Finals.
Two months ago in Denver, the Mammoth scored 7 goals in the second quarter then wound up earning a 15-14 win over the Buffalo Bandits when Connor Robinson scored at 14:00 of the fourth quarter. This game, they traded places as the Mammoth again scored 7 goals in the second quarter, but the Bandits earned a 15-14 win.
The first period saw four goals for the Bandits, with a starting goal from the Mammoth. Josh Byrne, Dhane Smith, and Fields each put some away for a 4-1 lead in the first.
This was followed by three Bandits hat-tricks from Tehoka Nanticoke, Josh Byrne, and Dhane Smith were the driving force behind the Bandits’ offence. Nick Weiss scored the game-winning goal on a breakaway with less than a minute to go with a fast loose ball retrieval.
The best-of-three series will go to Colorado next weekend. If necessary, game three would be back at KeyBank Center in two weeks. Game two’s face-off is on June 11 at 9:00 p.m..
Buffalo was swept in their last two finals appearances against Saskatchewan in 2016, and again in Calgary in 2019. With the win in Game 1 they give themselves a chance to change the outcome to flip the script.