The Buffalo Bandits and Colorado Mammoth went back and forth throughout Saturday’s game in Denver. Therefore, it was only fitting that the last goal of the game would decide it.
Mike Burke of the Mammoth got that last goal, with 4:35 gone in overtime. It gave Colorado a 15-14 victory.
Both goalies - Dillon Ward of Colorado and Anthony Cosmo of Buffalo - made spectacular saves for their respective teams in the final minutes of regulation time. Then in overtime, Mitch Wilde almost scored on a two-on-two break for Buffalo.
Burke then scooped a rebound, circled to the slot, and beat Cosmo on a high shot through traffic.
The big guns from both teams had superb offensive nights as the goals were plentiful throughout.
For Buffalo, Dhane Smith picked up where he left off last week, when he scored the game-winner to beat Calgary. Smith finished with three goals and five assists for eight points. Ryan Benesch had two goals and four assists for six points, while Mark Steenhuis added four goals including the 400th of his National Lacrosse League career.
Adam Jones, who played his college lacrosse at Canisius, had a huge game for the Mammoth. He scored five goals in the first half alone, and finished with six goals plus two assists. John Grant Jr., now the oldest player in the league because of the retirement of the Bandits’ John Tavares, had three goals and three assists. Callum Crawford, picked up from Georgia in the offseason, added nine assists.
Fittingly, the shots on goal were even at 55. Each team scored three power-play goals.
The Bandits will return home next Saturday night, and will play an East Division opponent for the first time this season when the Toronto Rock comes to the First Niagara Center.