There’s one more stop for the Bandits before they return to the postseason for the first time since 2016. Buffalo will be in action tonight on the West Coast and a game with the expansion San Diego Seals at 10 p.m., Eastern time, at the Pechanga Arena.
Last week went as well as Buffalo could have hoped. The Bandits (13-4) defeated New England, 12-6, and Philadelphia topped Georgia, meaning Buffalo was able to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Division and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
This means that Buffalo has little to play for except momentum headed to the postseason. A win would also give Buffalo 14 wins – the most in franchise history.
San Diego (10-7) has also already punched its ticket to the playoffs by way of a 12-7 win over the Colorado Mammoth on April 19.
The Seals still can earn the top seed in the Western Division with a little help; they’d have to beat Buffalo and then hope Saskatchewan (10-7) loses to Colorado tonight.
That means that Buffalo can expect a fired-up San Diego team that’s already made a splash in its first season in the National Lacrosse League.
It’ll be the first time ever that the Bandits play the Seals; the two teams have not met this season.
For an expansion team, San Diego boasts an all-around solid squad.
Forward Dan Dawson, who played with Bandits’ goalie Matt Vinc in Rochester, is ranked ninth in the league with 85 points (27 goals, 58 assists).
Connor Kearnan, a Canisius College product, has 18 points in his first season with San Diego. The Seals drafted him 11th overall last April.
The Seals’ offense will have to solve Matt Vinc, who was named the team’s Most Valuable Player on April 19.
Vinc leads the league with a .801 save percentage in 17 games. His 13 wins are a career-best for the 36-year-old.