GEORGIA – It was like two-games-in-one at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto Friday night, but in the end, Buffalo did a complete 180, turning a 4-0 deficit to being down 6-3 at the half.
The Bandits exploded after the intermission with six unanswered third quarter goals to rip the game out of Toronto’s hands. The Rock steadied the sinking ship in the final quarter but it would not be nearly enough as the Bandits recorded the 13-8 win.
Saturday night, the Bandits hung on for a 17-16 win thanks to a late period penalty to Buffalo’s Steve Priolo, which Ryan Benesch capitalized on for the game winner and his sixth of the game. Dhane Smith scored three and assisted on five for an eight-point game.
For Georgia, Johnny Powless and Lyle Thompson led the Swarm with four goals and four assists each. Miles Thompson scored three and assisted on four, and Randy Staats set up six.
The Rochester Knighthawks continue to struggle losing a 13-7 decision to the Colorado Mammoth. Torrey VanEvery took very little time settling into his new atmosphere wearing the Knighthawks jersey scoring his first NLL goal 1:26 into the first period. He added a second goal in the third quarter.
But even VanEvery’s great debut wasn’t enough to alter the outcome. Matt Vinc and Angus Goodleaf shared the loss in the Rochester goal.
In the West, the visiting New England BlackWolves’ Shawn Evans scored the game winner on a powerplay at 3:17 of the first overtime period for the 13-12 win.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Stealth won 15-11 over the Calgary Roughnecks.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Georgia Swarm have clinched first place in the east but New England and Toronto are tied. Buffalo will finish in fourth place and the Rochester Knighthawks will finish a very disappointing season in last place after a rash of injuries to key players.