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Powell takes his game into broadcast booth

When Casey Powell walked into the First Niagara Center on Saturday, Buffalo Bandits' fans probably started expected him to start scoring.

The former most valuable player of the National Lacrosse League was in town to work as a commentator for the CBS Sports Network's broadcast of the Bandits game with the Philadelphia Wings. Even so, it always seemed like he was good for six goals whenever he was in the building.

"I don't know if I got six," Powell said with a laugh. "Buffalo is a tough place to play."

Powell worked with brother Mike and play-by-play man Brent Stover on the broadcast, which opened the channel's coverage of the NLL. Games will be shown live on CBS Sports Network on Saturday nights through the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.

Powell had a great college career at Syracuse, and then played nine seasons in the NLL. He was with Boston last year, scoring 81 points in 15 games.

However, a knee injury suffered at the end of the 2011 outdoor season slowed him up a bit. Powell was taken by Rochester in the dispersal draft, but opted to take the current NLL season off.

"My knee has recovered from the summer injury, but I wanted some down time," he said. "I have a job in Boca Raton, Fla. Years of doing this will slow you down. I try to do as many things as I can. My playing status is uncertain, but I love to play and I'm excited about this opportunity [to be a broadcaster]."

Stover worked his first game as a lacrosse play-by-play man Saturday. He was looking forward to describing another fast-paced game.

"I have a history of doing hockey and arena football," he said. "There's no correlation between the mechanics of the games, but there's excitement and hard-hitting in confined places. I love to be a part of sports like this."

What's more, Stover promises that the games will get a first-class treatment from the network.

"I think the league will be extremely pleased with the look, the graphics," he said. "There's no drop-off, whether it's this, the NFL or Final Four. We're right there. Maybe that's the most exciting thing."

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Michael McNamara made his debut for the Bandits in the win against Philadelphia Saturday. The rookie was promoted from the practice squad as Travis Irving withdrew his appeal of a one-game suspension.

"It was awesome. Banditland was everything I expected," the defenseman said. "I was nervous at first, but after the nerves calmed down I played my game and I was fine."

McNamara was a former draft pick of the Toronto Rock who spent training camp this season in Washington but was released.

McNamara found out earlier this week that he's be playing.

"Today my nap was a little off," he said. "It was definitely nerve-racking."

McNamara said a friend filled a suite with 20 of his family members and friends, while some others cheered him on from the stands.

Tracey Kelusky (Achilles), Steve Priolo (sick) and Roger Vyse (scratched) did not play for the Bandits.

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The Bandits wore pink jerseys in Saturday's game as part of the fight against cancer. The jerseys will be auctioned on bandits.com stating Monday at 5 p.m. Proceeds will benefit cancer research causes.

email: bbailey@buffnews.com