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Bandits bury Vancouver behind Shawn Evans' four goals

Two Bandits recorded hat tricks and Ian McKay scored his first two career NLL goals to help Buffalo defeat Vancouver, 16-10, before 12,005 at the Keybank Center on Friday night.

Shawn Evans led the Bandits with four goals and Josh Byrne recorded three. Thomas Hoggarth chipped in by scoring two goals.
Evans dished out seven assists as well, totaling a team-best 11 points.

The Warriors were led by Mitch Jones, who had a hat trick as part of a seven-point performance.

Defense wasn’t a problem for Buffalo this week as it held Vancouver’s offense in stasis for most of the game, although the Warriors mounted a late comeback attempt.

Buffalo won 17 of 29 faceoffs, which kept the ball out of the hands of Vancouver’s attackers.

Bandits goaltender Matt Vinc had a much smoother night than in Buffalo’s home opener against Toronto on Dec. 21. The Canisius College graduate stopped 37 Vancouver shots.

The win was the 100th of Vinc’s career. He was signed in the offseason to a three-year deal.

McKay’s first goal at the professional level was a highlight-reel over-the-shoulder laser with 3:05 remaining in the first quarter to give Buffalo a 4-3 lead.

The goal sparked the Bandits’ offense, and they would lead for the rest of the game.

After McKay’s goal, the Bandits went on an 8-1 scoring run to take a 12-4 lead into halftime. Four different Buffalo players scored during the spree.

Evans’ third goal of the night came late in the third quarter and put the Bandits up 14-6.

Three straight Vancouver goals early in the fourth quarter brought a reminder of the home opener, when the Rock erased a 5-1 Buffalo lead with a flurry of goals.

Evans’ fourth goal came with 5:54 remaining in the contest to ice the game for Buffalo, which improved to 2-1 on the season.

The Bandits will get a familiar opponent in their next game. The Rochester Knighthawks, Vinc’s former squad, will travel to the Keybank Center on Jan. 5 for a 7:30 p.m. game.

Rochester has yet to play this season, and opens today against Philadelphia.

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