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Bandits beat Stealth in Vancouver


LANGLEY, B.C. - Dhane Smith had eight points for the Buffalo Bandits in their win against the Vancouver Stealth late Saturday night.

To show what sort of season Smith is having, that actually lowered his average for points per game for the season.

Smith had five goals and three assists as Buffalo downed Vancouver, 13-8. The win was the team's second in a row, and moved the Bandits within percentage points of the lead in the National Lacrosse League's East Division with a 6-4 record. New England lost Saturday, so the Black Wolves slipped to 5-3.

Smith did most of his work in the first half, and - not coincidentally - so did the Bandits. He had four of his goals and seven of his points in the first 30 minutes.

The performance means Smith has scored 84 points in his first 10 games. That's easily the best total in the league.

Buffalo turned on its offensive power in winning for a second straight week in Western Canada; the team won in Saskatchewan last week. The Bandits jumped out to a 4-0 lead before five minutes of the game had elapsed, and 9-2 before the midway point of the second quarter.

Smith's major assistant in scoring on Saturday night was Daryl Veltman, who picked up three goals and an assist. Ryan Benesch had a goal and four assists, while Mark Steenhuis had five assists and Chad Culp contributed four assists.

Rookie Mitch de Snoo scored into an empty net for the Bandits. It was the first goal of his professional career.

Jordan Durston led the Stealth with three goals, while Garrett Billings had five points and Rhys Duch and Logan Schuss had four points each.

Anthony Cosmo of the Bandits picked up his first "complete game victory" in the Buffalo goal since January 23 against Toronto. He made 42 saves on 50 shots, a sparkling save percentage of .840. The Bandits scored four times in their first seven shots against Eric Penney; Tyler Richards came on in relief and played the rest of the game for Vancouver.

The Bandits head back home next weekend after playing four of their last five on the road. Buffalo will host Rochester on Friday night. Before the game, John Tavares will see his uniform number of 11 retired and raised to the rafters. Tavares played in the team's first 24 years of existence, retiring last summer. He currently serves as an assistant coach with the team.

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