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Bandits lose in Edmonton

EDMONTON -- The Buffalo Bandits didn't do themselves any favors in the playoff race on Saturday night.

The Bandits fell to 5-9 on the season with an 11-8 loss to the Edmonton Rush. The defeat means Buffalo is guaranteed of finishing with a losing record for the first time since 1999.

The number of teams that could possibly miss the playoffs has dropped to three; eight of the nine National Lacrosse League teams qualify for the postseason.

Minnesota beat Washington on Saturday night, so the Swarm (7-7) are in. Rochester surprised Calgary at home; the Knighthawks (6-8) have the tiebreaker on the Stealth (4-10) so they will play in May.

That leaves Buffalo fighting with the Rush (5-8) and Washington for two of the final three spots. The Bandits play at home against Rochester next Saturday night and then play in Washington.

The Stealth defeated Buffalo in an earlier meeting.

Rush coach Derek Keenan says it's been one of those years where just about any team can beat another team.

"On any given night, there have only been two consistent teams in the standings -- Colorado and Calgary," he said. "It's been difficult to string together wins, or even to string together four straight quarters. I think it's sometimes due to parity. Finding consistency has been a problem."

Offense in the second half was the problem for the Bandits, who were tied with the Rush, 6-6, after 30 minutes. Edmonton went on a 5-2 run from there to earn the win.

Luke Wiles had three goals and John Tavares had two goals for the Bandits. Shawn Williams had a goal and four assists for the Rush.