The Buffalo Bandits four-game win streak ended with a thud Saturday night. Rochester Knighthawks goalie Matt Vinc shut out the Bandits for the first 20 minutes of the game, propelling Rochester to a 17-10 victory at KeyBank Center.
As Vinc shined on the back end, Rochester got out to a 7-0 lead in the first 18:50 seconds. Buffalo didn't cut the lead under six goals the rest of the way and went down by as many as 10 in the fourth quarter.
Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley said every aspect of the team didn't meet his standard.
"We got outed in a lot of different areas," Cordingley said. "I guess some of us were reading too many of our press clippings on how we're becoming a real good team. We forgot how we became a very good team."
Eventually, the frustration boiled over. Bandits transition player Thomas Hoggarth received a five-minute major and a game misconduct with 58 seconds left in the third quarter for an illegal hit. Cordingley was thrown out with four seconds left in the third. As a team, the Bandits took five penalties in the final minute of the frame.
"I know the league has addressed 95.3, the diving rule," Cordingley said. "It just wasn't called tonight. I voiced my opinion about it and he didn't like it."
The Bandits are back in the thick of the East Division standings with the loss. Buffalo is still atop the division at 6-4 but its lead on the Toronto Rock was cut to a half game. The difference between first place and last place in the division is a game and a half.
It appeared spectators would be treated to a goalie duel early, as neither squad found the net in the first seven minutes of the game. Rochester's Cody Jamieson broke the ice at the 7:13 mark, opening the floodgates.
"The first seven or eight minutes of defense was phenomenal on both sides," Cordingley said. "Then they got one that gets past us and we get off our game plan for some reason."
Mitch Jones finally got the Bandits on the board 5:12 into the second quarter thanks to a nice outlet pass from Ryan Wagner. Buffalo kept up with the Knighthawks the rest of the way, but the hole was too deep.
"We can't spot teams seven or eight goals," Bandits defenseman and captain Steve Priolo said. "Even in our winning streaks we've been spotting teams four or five goals and battling back. Tonight, we didn't have it."
The game was reminiscent of a pair of blowouts early in the season. Rochester defeated the Bandits on Dec. 23 in the teams' first matchup, 21-11, and Toronto beat the Bandits, 20-13, a week later.
"I thought that was a thing of the past and then you come out here and this happens," Priolo said.
Rochester's Joe Resetarits, a Hamburg graduate, had three goals and tied a franchise record for assists in a game with 11. Jordan Durston notched a hat trick for Buffalo.
The Bandits look to get back on track next Saturday when they play the Colorado Mammoth on the road. Colorado faces a tough back-to-back, playing in Georgia on Friday and back home on Saturday.