EDMONTON — In a battle of division leaders in the National Lacrosse League, the best in the West was too good for the East’s top team.
The Edmonton Rush broke open a close game with a 6-1 second quarter, and went on to 14-5 win over the Buffalo Bandits. The Rush thus improved to 11-0; no team in league history had ever started its season with 11 straight wins.
The Bandits, which saw a three-game winning streak come to an end and fell to 8-3 on the season, started well enough. Buffalo received goals from Aaron Wilson, Steve Priolo and Joe Resetarits. John Tavares had an assist on the Resetarits goal, the 1,700th point of his legendary career.
After that highlight, though, it was all downhill. Chad Culp was the only Bandit who could stop an Edmonton burst in the second quarter. By the time the first half was over, Edmonton was four for four on the power play. Curtis Knight had three goals as the Rush finished 30 minutes with a 9-4 lead.
Edmonton put the game away with three more goals, all by Zack Greer, in the first 19 minutes of the second half. Tavares ended a 34-minute scoreless streak by the Bandits with a goal. The five goals were a Buffalo low for the season.
The loss cost the Bandits first place in the NLL East. Buffalo’s 8-3 ledger is now a half-game behind Rochester’s 9-3 record.
The Bandits continue their road trip on Sunday afternoon. They will play the Swarm in Minnesota.
That game will offer an extra benefit for the Bandits if they win. Buffalo would clinch a playoff spot in the NLL East, no matter what happens. The Bandits would have the tiebreaker over both Philadelphia and Minnesota in the East standings. Rochester also would clinch a playoff spot.