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Bandits rocked hard again; Toronto's Billings has record 15 points

The woes of the Buffalo Bandits continue to mount by the game.

The Bandits missed a chance to move out of the cellar of the National Lacrosse League's East Division, losing to Toronto by a 15-9 count. To the 17,322 on hand in the First Niagara Center, it probably didn't seem that close.

The Bandits fell to 4-8 on the season with a loss to their biggest rival in Toronto (6-6). Considering Buffalo was coming off a one-sided loss in Calgary last week, the performance was difficult for the Bandits to swallow.

"It's mind-boggling how bad we are," Buffalo coach Darris Kilgour said.

Here's one sign of just how bad it was Saturday night: Toronto scored six goals in four minutes and 30 seconds of the fourth quarter. The flood of goals caused the scoreboard to tilt and give the Rock an extra goal for a while not that it mattered.

Two facts jumped off the scoresheet about this loss. Toronto finished 7 for 13 on the power play, while Buffalo was 0 for 4. That's a great way to dig a giant hole.

The Bandits' biggest problem was that they took two five-minute majors, with Jeremy Thompson and Darryl Gibson the guilty parties. The Rock made the Bandits pay and pay and pay, scoring three goals in each of the power plays.

"We took stupid penalties," Kilgour said. "Our man short is not very good this year. Shift to shift, this team is up and down. I can't describe it any more. I've put enough emotion into this team. It's time for them to man up to do what the team needs to do to improve."

The Rock moved the ball flawlessly at times on the power play, finding open shots repeatedly. It was almost poetic unless you were playing for Buffalo.

"Not much good was coming out of that game," Bandits captain Chris White said. "We have to knock down a pass or two to help our goalie out."

The other statistical number that jumped out was the scoring line of Garrett Billings of Toronto. He finished with four goals and 11 assists for 15 points; in other words, he had a hand in every Rock goal. Billings broke a record for most points in a game by a Bandits' opponent.

"I don't think there's any doubt that he's been our best player. He's had a solid year," Toronto coach Troy Cordingley said.

The Bandits seemed intent to use the same game plan as they had two weeks ago -- hit the Rock when possible and wear them down. However, Buffalo sometimes crossed the line and as a result headed for the penalty box early and often. Toronto had the lead early, with Buffalo moving into a tie for the last time at 4-4 with 4:32 gone in the second period. They pulled away from there, slowly at first and then moving into a sprint.

What's next for the Bandits? White wants the team to look in the mirror.

"We've got to come focused," he said. "Guys have to take this game home with them. It's not our coach's fault. We're not listening to him."

Buffalo hosts Philadelphia next Saturday night.

email: bbailey@buffnews.com