PHILADELPHIA -- The Buffalo Bandits were forced to become spectators for a game of keep-away as the final precious seconds ticked away at the Wachovia Center Saturday night.
Penalties at the most inopportune time rendered the Bandits powerless to do anything about a 10-9 National Lacrosse League loss to the Philadelphia Wings.
When the dust had cleared the Bandits (3-2), who had started the day atop the East Division, had dropped into third place behind the Rochester Knighthawks (5-2) and the Wings (4-2).
"It was a very frustrating game all around," said head coach Darris Kilgour, whose Bandits had won the last three times they had traveled to Philadelphia. "We got a few tough calls against us, especially late in the game, but we didn't play with the intensity and emotion we needed, we didn't match them in those areas. And as a result we got beat."
John Tavares scored twice during a six-minute span of the fourth quarter, the last with 2:40 remaining, to trim Philadelphia's 10-7 lead to the final score.
But Bandits defenseman Troy Bonterre was called for holding with 1:07 remaining and Billy Dee Smith followed him to the penalty box 33 seconds later after being whistled for roughing.
All that was left for the Wings to do was burn the clock.
"The call against Bonterre was definitely a penalty," Kilgour said. "But we were ready to pull Chugger [Bandits goalie Steve Dietrich, who made 38 saves] and go five-on-five with them. Then they gave Billy what I thought was a very questionable penalty and that really put us in the hole."
Tavares had two goals and three assists, giving him 1,085 career points. He's within six points of leader Gary Gait, now the coach of the Colorado Mammoth, and will have a chance to make history Saturday night when the Bandits host the Minnesota Swarm (4-3) at HSBC Arena.
Dan Teat had three goals and two assists and Mark Steenhuis added three goals and an assist for the Bandits, who went just 2 of 9 on the power play compared to 4 of 10 for the Wings.
Philly got three goals and an assist from Keith Cromwell, two goals and three assists from Jake Bergey and Jeff Ratcliffe, and 41 saves from Matt Roik.