The Buffalo Bandits and New England Black Wolves couldn’t have played a much closer game than they did on Saturday night in Uncasville, Conn. The teams traded the lead back and forth, as neither team led by more than two goals.
But the Black Wolves were the ones who scored the decisive goal of the game. With the score tied, 12-12, Kevin Crowley of New England completed a hat trick with a goal with 53 seconds. That gave the Black Wolves the 13-12 win before a sellout crowd at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Buffalo (1-3) had trailed, 12-10, with less than five minutes to go. But Craig England and David Brock both scored goals to tie the matchup.
The Bandits again played without star forward Dhane Smith, who is out with an ankle injury. Buffalo also was missing transition player Alex Kedoh Hill.
Ryan Benesch of the Bandits continued his good start with a goal and four assists for five points. Mark Steenhuis, Mitch Jones, Steve Priolo and England had two goals each.
Three players did much of the scoring for the Black Wolves. Shawn Evans finished with three goals and five assists for eight points, while Crowley added seven points and Pat Saunders added six.
Ex-Bandits Jay Thorimbert and Chad Culp helped their new team earn the win. Culp finished with two goals and two assists for New England, while Thorimbert won 20 of 29 faceoffs.
The Bandits play another road game in Toronto against the Rock on Friday night.