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After big lead disappears, Bandits rally to defeat Wings

Winless in four National Lacrosse League starts coming in, the Philadelphia Wings were able to throw a scare into the Buffalo Bandits Saturday night in their National Lacrosse League game at KeyBank Center.

After falling behind 7-1 midway through the second quarter the Wings rallied. The game was tied before Buffalo finished with four unanswered goals and a 14-10 victory to go 4-1 on the NLL season.

It was Bandits Alumni Night at KeyBank Center and the Wings' rally must have brought back memories of one of the Buffalo's most bitter rivalries against the original Philadelphia Wings in the early years of the indoor lacrosse league.

Kiel Matisz's fourth goal of the game tied the game for Philadelphia a 5:54 of the fourth quarter, climaxing and uphill climb by the Wings.

Buffalo responded, however, with goals by Shawn Evans, Dhane Smith, Evans again and finally Thomas Hoggarth to send the home crowd out into the snowy, windy conditions in a happy frame of mind.

Corey Small scored three of Buffalo's first eight goals as the Bandits were building their big lead. He also had three assists for a 13-point night. Smith had a pair of goals and six assists. Evans and Hoggarth had two goals and two assists each. Jordan Durston had a pair of goals while Ian MacKay, Ethan O'Connor and Chase Fraser had single tallies for Buffalo.

Matisz had an assist in addition to his four goals for Philadelphia. His first tally made it 7-2 in the second period and two more in succession by Matisz in the third closed the gap to 8-6 before he tied the game at 10.

Veteran forward Kevin Crowley had three goals and two assists for the Wings.

Buffalo goalkeeper Matt Vinc stopped 49 of the 59 shots he faced. Doug Buchan (21 saves) and former Bandit Davide DiRuscio (30 saves) shared the goaltending for the Wings.

The Bandits had a 65-59 advantage in shots on goal. Buffalo was 1 for 3 on the power play while Philadelphia went 0 for 4.

Next game for the Bandits will be at 8 p.m. Saturday against the Knighthawks in Rochester. Philadelphia will be home to the first-place Toronto Rock next Saturday. The Georgia Swarm, which is tied for first with Toronto, was off this weekend, as was Toronto.

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