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ROCHESTER — The Buffalo Bandits couldn’t come much closer to reaching the National Lacrosse League’s championship round without actually playing in it.But they came up one shot short, and as a result their season is over.The Bandits dropped a 2-1 decision to the Knighthawks here on Saturday night, as Cory Vitarelli scored the game-winner at 1:56 of sudden-death overtime in…

Will Saturday be remembered as the last time that John Tavares wore a Bandits’ uniform in a game?That’s liable to be a hot topic of conversation from this point forward, now that the team’s season is over.Tavares didn’t sound like a man who had made a decision yet.“I’m going to go home, rest and rethink the season. I’ll talk to the organization, and see how the body feels,…

Bandits

ROCHESTER — Jay Thorimbert has seen a National Lacrosse League championship game, but he’s never participated in one.“I was on the 2008 Bandits roster, but I didn’t get to play,” he said about Buffalo’s last title run, in which the team defeated Portland for the NLL title. Thorimbert did not play a game that season. The Bandits’ faceoff specialist has a great chance to rea…

Bandits

Someone needs to check John Tavares’ birth certificate. Based on his performance for the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday night, he can’t really be 45.“I think he’s 21,” teammate Anthony Cosmo said. “I don’t want him to retire. He’s saying he’s frustrated with his play, but he’s producing when it counts.”Tavares had a night to remember in the First Niagara Center, scoring four …

Bandits

On a night when the Buffalo Bandits’ top scorers filled up the scoresheet, another forward was recognized for some unsung work in their win over the Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday night.Chad Culp contributed one goal and one assist, but helped set a combative tone as the Bandits won their second straight game in the postseason.“Chad is a big part of our team,” coach Tro…

Bandits

Billy Dee Smith has been in plenty of happy postgame locker rooms during his 11 years as a member of the Buffalo Bandits. Last Saturday’s scene after the playoff win against Toronto was one of the most euphoric of them all.“It was actually weird,” he said. “We’ve been in good spirits considering the eight-game losing streak. You know you’re better than that and expect more…

The final four of the National Lacrosse League playoffs have been determined, and the Buffalo Bandits earned an invitation to the party.The Bandits’ win over Toronto on Saturday gave them a spot in the East final against the Rochester Knighthawks. Both teams will have the chance to host a game. Buffalo will have its home game on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with the teams playin…

TORONTO — Buffalo Bandits coach Troy Cordingley reached into his bag of motivational tricks in his pregame speech before Saturday’s first round playoff game with the Toronto Rock.“He came out wearing” John Tavares’ “jersey and said he wanted the win so that JT could come back and play in front of his home fans one more time,” Ryan Benesch said.Mission accomplished.The Band…

TORONTO — Buffalo Bandits goalie Anthony Cosmo needs to buy an eraser today. He has to wipe out the ugly “zero” that was in his statistical profile under “playoff wins.”Cosmo earned postseason win number one when the Bandits defeated Toronto on Saturday night. It only took him 14 years to do it. “I got the game ball because it’s my first playoff win,” he said about this vi…

Bandits

The Buffalo Bandits should have a powerful motivating force on their side for the National Lacrosse League playoffs this year.Redemption.The Bandits have a chance to erase some of the memories of a stunning eight-game losing streak that closed their season when they open the postseason tonight in Toronto against the Rock (7 p.m., nll.com, Radio 1520 AM). Buffalo coach Troy…

The National Lacrosse League’s regular season came to an end late Saturday night, and that set up the first round of the playoffs.The Buffalo Bandits were one of six teams to qualify for the postseason. They will open the East semifinal with a game in Toronto against the Rock on Saturday. Starting time at the Air Canada Centre is 7 p.m. In the West, Calgary will host Color…

Bandits

What looked like a dream regular season for the Buffalo Bandits several weeks ago has ended as a nightmare. The Bandits lost their eighth in a row on Saturday night, extending a franchise record for consecutive losses. The latest loss was a 16-14 decision to the Rochester Knighthawks before 19,070 in the First Niagara Center. “It’s mind-boggling,” Ryan Benesch said. “When …

Bandits

Joel Matthews felt a little pressure when he made his National Lacrosse League debut last week for the Buffalo Bandits.Matthews was placed on the roster just before the game with the Rochester Knighthawks, who are merely the defending NLL champions. The game was played in Rochester. Just to raise the stakes, the Bandits had lost their previous six games in a row.“It felt w…

Bandits

The numbers tell the story for the Buffalo Bandits’ offense.When the Bandits were 8-2 back in mid-March, the team was averaging 11.9 goals per game and allowing 10.1 goals. But since then, Buffalo has scored only 8.1 goals per game while allowing 11.9 goals. That’s led to the most discouraging number of them all – seven straight losses, a franchise record.“I think you don’…

ROCHESTER — The Buffalo Bandits didn’t play a bad game against the Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday night. In fact, they did quite a bit right except when it came to scoring goals. That makes it easy to guess how this game turned out. The Bandits dropped their seventh straight game, losing to the Knighthawks, 8-4. That set a franchise record for consecutive losses, breaki…