ROCHESTER - Buffalo won't be returning to Rochester during the rest of the National Lacrosse League's regular season. The Bandits won't be complaining about that.
Buffalo lost its second straight heart-breaker in the Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks rallied to earn a 11-10 win on Saturday night. The Bandits had an 8-5 lead in the fourth quarter but couldn't hold it. Brad Gillies scored the game-winning goal with 2:01 left.
Buffalo had lost in Rochester in overtime three weeks ago, giving up the tying goal with two seconds left. Once again, the Bandits missed a chance to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Ryan Benesch had four goals for the Bandits.
THE EARLY GOING: The Knighthawks picked up right where they left off in the previous meeting between the two teams. You might recall that three weeks ago, Rochester scored the tying goal with two seconds to go and then tallied the overtime winner shortly into the extra session.
Rochester scored the first two goals of the game to take the lead with less than seven minutes gone. From there, Anthony Cosmo and the Bandits had a nice run of defensive play. They allowed only one goal for the rest of the half.
Meanwhile, Buffalo's top offensive players were getting on the scoreboard. Benesch and Mark Steenhuis had a couple of goals each, while Dhane Smith and Pat Saunders also scored.
GOAL OF THE NIGHT: After a Smith shot was deflected into the crease, Mitch Jones of the Bandits picked up the ball without any defenders around. He surveyed the situation for a moment, and spotted Benesch on the other side of the net.
Jones' pass to the veteran forward was perfect, and Benesch quick-sticked the ball into the net before goalie Matt Vinc had a chance to do anything about it.
BACK IN ACTION: Benesch returned to duty for the Bandits. He had been out since Feb. 19, when he was injured in a game with New England. Benesch went into concussion protocol, but was pronounced ready to go for this game.
To make room for him, Adam Will was placed on physically unable to perform list. Meanwhile, Craig England was scratched from the lineup. England had some good moments since he got the chance to play, but good health has put a squeeze on roster positions for now.
On Friday, the Bandits activated Andrew Watt, and placed Justin Martin and Bryce Brochu on the Practice Player list.
MILESTONE WATCH: This was David Brock's 100th NLL game.
PASSED OVER: Anthony Cosmo reached another team record on Saturday night at the expense of his general manager. Cosmo went past Steve Dietrich to see the mark for most minutes in a Bandit goal.
BEHIND THE BENCH: Troy Cordingley won the 94th game of his career last week when the Bandits won in Vancouver. That puts him third on the all-time list. Cordingley passed Les Bartley, who coached Cordingley when the two were in Buffalo in the 1990s.
TURN BACK TIME: The 2007 Rochester Knighthawks took a bow before the game. They were celebrating the 10th anniversary of a championship season.
Some ex-Bandits were on that team, such as Mike Accursi, Pat O'Toole, Joe Smith and Shawn Williams. Head coach Ed Comeau turned up for the ceremony as well.
LET'S MAKE A DEAL: The National Lacrosse League's trading deadline is scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m. The NLL rarely has a great many deals at that time, and it's been very quiet in the transaction department so far around the league.
But that doesn't mean some sort of deal isn't possible for the Bandits. With most of the roster healthy again, they do have the depth to make some sort of deal.
NEXT UP: The Bandits get to play a home game next week. Buffalo will host Saskatchewan in a rematch of last year's championship series.
Buffalo is in the midst of playing six of seven games on the road. The Bandits have three more road games after the Rush matchup, but close with two at the KeyBank Center.