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KNIGHTHAWKS 'OWN' MMA, BEAT BANDITS

Same old Rochester Knighthawks.

Even though it was only an exhibition game, the Buffalo Bandits still can't beat the defending champions in Marine Midland Arena. Ex-Bandit and current Canisius College assistant lacrosse coach Randy Mearns scored 25 seconds into overtime, on Rochester's first possession, to give the Knighthawks a 17-16 win over Buffalo before 9,678 in the first game of the Mayor's Cup challenge.

The same teams will meet at 2 today in the Rochester War Memorial in the final game of the preseason series.

"To get a victory in this fashion, with as many new guys as we have, is very satisfying," said Mearns, who played for Buffalo's Major Indoor Lacrosse League championship team in 1993. "It always feels good to score a goal any time I come back to Buffalo."

Mearns and his teammates won both a regular-season game and the league championship game in the MMA last season and wrapped up the first National Lacrosse League contest the same way.

The Bandits fell apart in the second half, losing leads as large as five goals.

"It almost seemed as if we hit a wall in the second half," said new Bandits head coach Les Wakeling. "We couldn't seem to get motivated late. I did a lot of experimenting, using guys in places I might not in the regular season."

Troy Cordingley had three goals and two assists for the Bandits before leaving early in the third quarter to receive 15 stitches for a cut on the back of his head. Mearns and Bob Fisher had three goals apiece for the Knighthawks.

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