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Bandits’ Goodwin out, will need surgery

The regular season of Brandon Goodwin, last year’s first-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bandits, is probably over.

Goodwin was using crutches to get around the First Niagara Center on Saturday after injuring his knee. He said he is expecting to undergo surgery in the coming days.

“He went knee-on-knee, and has a torn meniscus,” Bandits coach Troy Cordingley said. “It’s between four and eight weeks” of recovery time. “It’s part of the game, but it’s tough because he’s such a good kid. It happens.”

Goodwin has never had any sort of knee injury before. It’s tough enough to be hurt during a game, but suffering an injury in practice might be more of a shock to all concerned.

“Especially the way the games with Toronto last week, and how physical they were,” Cordingley said. “We were trying to fix some mistakes that we made.”

Goodwin has been placed on the injured reserve list. He has been replaced on the roster by Matthew Bennett, a second-round draft pick last fall. Bennett played in his second game of the season on Saturday.

“He played real well once he got into the flow of things,” Cordingley said. “It’s timing for him, and once he got that down he did well. He’s a great positional defender.”

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Anthony Cosmo was a part of one of the strangest moments of the season. The Buffalo goaltender made a lacrosse ball disappear.

He made a save on a second period shot, and the ball dropped into the equipment. That happens once in a while, but usually the ball is found and play is quickly resumed. This time, no one could find the ball.

Cosmo had to leave the field with a member of the officiating crew to continue the search under more private conditions.

“We took everything off,” the goalie said. “We looked everywhere. I said, ‘I don’t know what else to do, guys.’

“As I was putting everything back on, it fell out.”

Cosmo had something similar happen to him here while he was a member of the Boston Blazers. That time he actually had to leave the game for a couple of minutes.

The netminder received a nice ovation when he returned for duty, fully dressed.

“It was kind of weird taking your gear off,” Cosmo said. “It’s part of the game, but we battled through it. We scored a goal right off the hop.”

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The Minnesota Swarm are returning to health – not that it helped them much against the Bandits.

The Swarm lost their sixth straight game on Saturday night, going from 3-2 to 3-8. It’s put them in last place in the National Lacrosse League’s East Division.

At least injuries have become less of an excuse lately.

“We’ve got everyone back and healthy now,” Swarm coach Joe Sullivan said before the game. “It’s been a long time coming – at least five games. It’s good, it’s encouraging.”

Minnesota has collected a large group of first-round draft choices in the past few years. It was part of a vision for long-term success that has eluded the franchise so far.

“We’ve had a vision from three years ago to recruit young players and make them into the kind of players we want,” Sullivan said. “We want to keep a nucleus with Andrew Suitor, Jordan MacIntosh and Callum Crawford.

“It’s a long, drawn-out process. But once it catches fire, it will continue on.”

However, there was few signs of an inferno on Saturday.

“It’s at that point where guys are literally going to get themselves pulled out of the lineup,” Sullivan said. “If they’re not going to compete better than that, they’re not going to play.”

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Mark Steenhuis and Dhane Smith had hat tricks for Buffalo, while Ryan Benesch added five points. ... Buffalo has an all-time record at home of 12-2 against Minnesota.

email: bbailey@buffnews.com