The Buffalo Bandits got back on the winning track Friday night thanks to fast start, a furious finish and some new blood between the pipes.
Rookie goaltender Scott Komer made 41 saves in the first start of his National Lacrosse League career to help the Bandits defeat the last-place Ottawa Rebel, 21-12, before 7,083 at the Corel Centre. The Bandits, 5-2 and now just a half-game behind league leaders Toronto and Washington, outscored Ottawa, 14-2, in the first and fourth quarters combined.
"We tend to have bad second quarters and we did again tonight," said Komer, who was playing for just the fourth time -- the first three in relief of Phil Wetherup. "But our defense played well and we settled down. It was nice we had that early cushion."
Buffalo went up, 8-1, but was outshot, 24-6, in the second quarter as the Rebel (0-10) narrowed its deficit to 11-7 at halftime.
"He was calm and cool, even when we took a lot of penalties," Bandits coach Ted Sawicki said of Komer, who stuffed a penalty shot by Kris Bryde in the second period. "I had a feeling about Scott before the game and I went with my gut. I'm glad he proved me right."
NLL scoring leader John Tavares led Buffalo with six goals and four assists, giving him 29 goals and 68 points for the season. Derek Malawsky added three goals and four assists and Mike Accursi had two scores and three helpers for the Bandits, who went 9 of 11 with their league-best power play unit.
Ottawa got five goals and two assists from Bruce Alexander. The Bandits are at Philadelphia (5-2) next Saturday night.