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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Bill Gerrie

     (Born June 4, 1957) -- A young John Tavares looked at Bill Gerrie on the 1992 Buffalo Bandits, and was amazed that Gerrie was so good despite being "so old." Tavares changed his perspective once he reached the age of 35. But Tavares was right; Gerrie was good no matter how old he was.

     The Ontario native took up lacrosse at the age of 17 and became one of Canada's all-time great goaltenders. He won five Mann Cups along the way -- in a row, no less Ñ as his teams were constant winners in Canadian senior lacrosse championships.

     Gerrie needed something to do in the winter, though, and the Bandits were happy to offer him a spot. He landed with the team in 1992, Buffalo's first year, and split the duties in goal with Ross Cowie. The Bandits won a championship that season, and the season after.

     By the way, Gerrie was asked in Oct. 1991 about Tavares. The goalie had faced that player in Ontario and thought he'd be a good addition to the team. Buffalo made the deal with Detroit to get Tavares, which worked out rather well.

     Gerrie retired from the Bandits in 1995. He was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2010.

--- Budd Bailey

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