Buffalo Bandits Game Day: Bandits vs. Vancouver Stealth - The Buffalo News

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Buffalo Bandits Game Day: Bandits vs. Vancouver Stealth

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Online: NLL TV.

Radio: 1520 AM.

Records: Buffalo 2-2, Vancouver 0-4.

Last time out: The Bandits bounced back after a pair of blowout losses the previous two weeks, defeating the Calgary Roughnecks 13-8 last Saturday. Jordan Durston scored two goals and three assists and goalie Alex Buque made 44 saves to push the Bandits back to .500.

Vancouver was on the bad side of one of the biggest blowouts of the season, losing 24-7 to the Toronto Rock. The Stealth were down 17-1 at the half, giving up 11 straight goals before Vancouver's Peter McFetridge finally got the Stealth on the board. The Bandits offense was probably salivating while following along, but General Manager Steve Dietrich said teams coming off games like that can be dangerous.

Series history: The Bandits defeated Vancouver twice last season, once in Buffalo and once at the Langley Events Centre. Mitch Jones, a Delta, B.C. native, scored a combined six goals and seven assists in the pair of games. Buffalo is 16-6 against the Stealth all-time and 6-1 since the franchise moved to the Vancouver area in 2014.

Fresh look: The Bandits will wear their retro uniforms for the first time this season. They'll rock the 90s look twice more at home this season, Feb. 24 and April 28. Buffalo plays the Rochester Knighthawks in both those games.

Appealing justice: Bandits forward Callum Crawford was suspended one game for his high hit on Calgary's Tyler Pace. He is appealing the suspension, meaning he'll be available to play against the Stealth.

Slow start: Corey Small and Rhys Duch led the Stealth in goals last season, scoring 46 and 38 times, respectively. It hasn't been the same story this year, as Duch has only one goal and Small only two goals through four games. The Stealth offense as a whole hasn't done much better, as Vancouver is tied with Calgary for the fewest goals scored this season (36).

X's and O's: Vancouver has given up goals on 19 percent of shots in 5-on-5 settled situations according to Moneyball Lacrosse. The Stealth have pulled their goalie in all four games they've played, switching between Tye Belanger and Brodie MacDonald.

Familiar faces: The Stealth have two former Bandits on the roster: Tony Malcom and Brandon Goodwin. Buffalo traded Malcom to Vancouver this offseason, hours before the National Lacrosse League Draft. He has two goals and five assists in four games. Goodwin, the Bandits' first-round pick in 2014, has found success after moving from a transition role to an offensive one in his first year with the Stealth. He's scored three goals and five assists in four games, already surpassing his previous career high for points.

Salmonbellies reunion: Buffalo's Buque and Jones will matchup against six teammates from summer ball: Logan Schuss, Joel McCready, Ian Hawksbee, Belanger, Malcom and Goodwin. The group won the Western Lacrosse Association title with the New Westminster Salmonbellies in late August.

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