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Buffalo Bandits Game Day: Bandits at Rochester Knighthawks

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Blue Cross Arena.

Online: NLL TV.

Radio: 1520 AM.

Records: Buffalo 3-3, Rochester 2-4.

Last time out: The Bandits pulled off a miraculous comeback on Jan. 19 against the previously undefeated Saskatchewan Rush. Buffalo stormed back from down 12-5 in the third quarter to beat the Rush, 16-15. Pat Saunders was the overtime hero, scoring his third goal of the season off a rebound 1:46 into the extra frame.

After starting the season hot, the Knighthawks have lost four straight. The KHawks lost their previous two games to New England, most recently falling 11-9 to the Black Wolves on Jan. 21. Rochester and New England were tied at 8-8 early in the fourth, but the Black Wolves ended the game on a 3-1 run with two goals from Kevin Crowley and one from Shawn Evans.

The rematch: Buffalo lost handily at the Knighthawks, 21-11, in the teams' only previous matchup this season. Rochester's Dan Dawson notched nine points in the contest.

Special occasion: For the second straight year, the Bandits and Knighthawks will wear special jerseys for Rochester's Military Appreciation Night. The Knighthawks are offering a complimentary ticket to all military members, veterans and reserves. Additional tickets for friends and family are $15, with $5 going to the Veterans Outreach Center.

Overtime winner highlight of seesaw season for Bandits' Saunders

Back in the win column: In net for the Bandits during their comeback against the Rush was Zach Higgins, who replaced starter Alex Buque early in the first quarter. Higgins earned the victory, his first in the NLL since his time with the Georgia Swarm in 2016.

Inside Lacrosse's Teddy Jenner said last week on his podcast, Off The Crosse Bar, that he's interested in seeing who Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley starts in goal against the Knighthawks.

"I think Zach Higgins has earned that start," Jenner said.

Among the best: Dhane Smith entered the weekend ranked sixth in the NLL in assists (24) and points (36). He's on pace to have the second highest point total of his career through one third of the season. Josh Byrne entered the weekend tops among rookies in assists (13) and points (19). Byrne scored the equalizer to send the Rush game into overtime with 19 seconds remaining on the clock.

Slowed down: Rochester's offense was nearly impossible to stop in the first two weeks of the season, as the Knighthawks hung 17 goals on Calgary and 21 on the Bandits. They've slowed down tremendously since then, failing to break the 10-goal mark in three of the last four games.

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