The Buffalo Bandits missed a chance to make the NLL East playoff chance a little more interesting.
The Bandits could have won their fourth straight and closed in a little on the two top teams in the division, Georgia and Toronto. But they couldn't hold a couple of late fourth-quarter leads, and fell, 9-8. Josh Currier tied the game at 14:57.9, and Dan Dawson won it for the Knighthawks at 1:02 of overtime.
Buffalo received a good game from Dhane Smith, who looks more and more like the player who was MVP last week. Smith, who suffered an ankle sprain early in the season, had three goals and four assits. Pat Saunders added two goals for Buffalo. Dawson finished with a goal and four assists.
Buffalo finished with a 52-49 edge in shots.
First half: No one was too sure how the opening 30 minutes would go, considering the quick turnaround in games. It's fair to say teams looked a step slow, but neither side had a clear advantage. That made it a low-scoring, close half.
Neither side had more than a two-goal lead, and that only came when Rochester opened with two goals. Buffalo came back with two straight scores, and they traded for the rest of the half.
Lineup changes: Buffalo switched a couple of names on the roster between games of the home-and-home series.
The most troubling part of that announcement was that Alex Kedoh Hill was put on the injured list. He is said to be in concussion protocol. Hill had an outstanding game on Friday night, scoring two goals and four assists. The transition player was named first star for his effort.
Andrew Watt also went on injured reserve. He said he was a little banged up, and that two games in less than a day might not have been the best of ideas. Watt will get extra rest during the upcoming bye week.
Bryce Brochu, who was scratched on Friday, moved up to the playing roster. Brier Jonathan, just added to the practice squad this week for just such a circumstance, was activated. Another call-up, Zach Tomkinson, was scratched.
The joys of the road: The Bandits had to be in a grumpy mood by gametime on Saturday afternoon. What could go wrong on a road trip to Rochester? It turns out, almost everything.
For starters, the Bandits packed up their gear after the game Friday night and hopped on a bus to come to Rochester. When they arrived, the hotel staff was surprised to see them. It supposedly took about an hour to straighten all of that out.
Then the Bandits had an early wake-up call and headed to the Blue Cross Arena. They went to their usual locker room in the building, and discovered it was filled with the gear of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The American Hockey League team was getting ready to play the Rochester Americans in the arena on Saturday night. You can imagine how well that went over.
The Bandits eventually found a place to change clothes and prepare for the game - the Amerks' room. But the starting time had to be moved back a half-hour from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
Next up: Bandits enjoy a bye week. They play in Vancouver on March 17.