Most people kill downtime on road trips with music or a movie. For Buffalo Bandits defenseman Mitch de Snoo, it's a great chance to catch up on medical journals.
De Snoo, in his third year with the Bandits, isn't balancing lacrosse and a day job like most of his teammates. Instead, the sport has been a respite from countless hours in laboratories at the University of Toronto. In December he completed his master's degree, which focused on research of Parkinson's Disease, after defending his thesis.
"My master's was looking at some of the biology relating to Parkinson's," said de Snoo, whose Bandits play the Toronto Rock Saturday night at KeyBank Center (7:30, 550 AM). "There are a number of genes that mutations of them result in genetic inheritable forms of Parkinson's. What we look at is two of those proteins, ... how they act in cells."
With his master's behind him, de Snoo has turned his attention to getting into University of Toronto's medical school, among the most prestigious in the world. He interviewed in February. It's a waiting game now, but he's stayed busy.
"In the interim, I actually continued working in the lab," said de Snoo, who also has a degree in biomedical engineering from Drexel University. "There's lots of projects that I was involved in that are still going on. I'm just continuing that, trying to get closer to publishing some of our findings. That'll hopefully be helpful career-wise."
De Snoo said his future career plans are heavily based on his admission result. If he's been as successful academically as he has on the floor, he's got good odds. The Oshawa, Ont. native is second on the Bandits in loose balls (112) and fourth in caused turnovers (28) this season. With 13 points, he's two away from his career high with two games left on the schedule.
He expects to hear from the U of T on May 9. Until then, he's got a playoff race to worry about.
Buffalo enters the final two weeks of the regular season at 8-8, tied for third place in the East Division and a game back of the Rochester Knighthawks and Georgia Swarm. The Bandits squandered an opportunity last Saturday against a Calgary Roughnecks team with nothing to play for, but can still clinch a playoff spot Saturday if they win and Rochester beats the New England Black Wolves.
"If you were an outside observer with no knowledge of that game you might have guessed that Calgary was really the one playing for something," de Snoo said of the Bandits' 16-9 loss. The Roughnecks are locked into third place in the West Division. "We weren't desperate enough."
De Snoo said the Bandits can't bring that same effort against a Rock team with their backs against the wall. Toronto, which sits at 7-9, needs a win to remain in playoff contention.
"It's definitely going to be a playoff-like atmosphere," de Snoo said. "Our rivalry and the way it is, every time we play them is pretty competitive. There's a lot of animosity there. This game, even more so."