Blogs | 2/11/2014 3:24:20 PM | John Gurtler
Testing: 1-2-3-4-5. Is this on?
That call of five is what set the Bandits back last Saturday night in Rochester by the end of the first half. And the Bandits had nothing to show except for a few hard “hit the post” remarks and some spotty play, even with three man-ups.
In the first quarter, the goaltending on both coasts was splendid with Anthony Cosmo and Matt Vinc making big saves, one right after another. It was like somebody rocking the baby’s bath back and forth, wave after wave of quick transition and attack.
But it was a game to forget, not withstanding the four-goal Bandit run in the third quarter. Okay John, don’t try and rekindle some points of woulda-coulda. If it was not for Cosmo’s 40 saves – 20 in each half – we could have been talking a big, bad egg in the barn down by the river.
Granted there was a bit of distraction in the team’s hotel Saturday as balloon artists from all over the world convened for their annual balloon art convention. And that meant strange and larger than life displays of automobiles, a giant mighty mouse, lions, tigers and bears! Not to mention cascading waterfalls – formed and shaped from the balloons we use when loaded with water.
Every display artist (a.k.a. balloon sculptor) had a cylinder of air and/or helium always at their side. I don’t know, maybe there wasn’t enough oxygen in the air in the hotel as the day wore on. It looked as if the rather large group of colorful people from all corners of the world had taken the Bandits “time and space.”
Nope, time to move on. The two teams will see each other twice more and there will be a few scores to settle.
Moving ahead to this Saturday, the team was already thinking about their home game against Philadelphia on the bus from Rochester. While the Wings play an interesting game and can score at any spot on the field, the Bandits continue to get better at every aspect of the game.
“I don’t think you can win one way, with just good defense or just good goaltending, I think you need all of the parts of the game clicking,” said Buffalo defenseman Glen Bryan during his interview on the radio pre-game show Saturday.
“I think for us we’ve had the offense going, we’ve had goals in transition, we’ve had the defense going and Coz [goaltender Anthony Cosmo] has made big saves when we’ve needed him to. Not to mention the power play, and Jay [Thorimbert] on draws.
“I think when one’s down, the other one is picking it up. We are doing it in every facet of the game and I think we need to keep that going.”
It’s clear that this year’s team is a pretty confident bunch.
“We are confident in each other,” said Bryan. “We don’t get worried when things are going wrong, and I think that is huge because lacrosse is a game of runs.”
As Bandits coach Troy Cordingley mentioned last week, this is a long season and the halfway point won’t be until March.
“It’s the little things that win you games and if we continue to win the little battles, we’ll have a chance,” said Cordingley. “It’s a matter of getting the momentum. And when we have the momentum, everything seems to drop for us and we have more energy. When we are on the downside of the momentum, and the other team has it, we need to be a little bit more creative and slow things down a little bit and regroup.
“One thing that has impressed me with our team is that we’ve shown no panic whatsoever. Our bench has been real strong and our leadership is excellent.”
While the team hit the guardrail Saturday night, you can say the Bandits are good team getting better.
Can you hear me in the back?
Saturday night’s game for the Wings (3-5) at the First Niagara Center will mark their halfway point of the regular season. Kyle Buchanan leads the team in scoring (14+24) and is fourth overall in league scoring. Forward Ryan Was is third in the league with 26 assists.
CJ Costabile is third in faceoff wins (100), right behind Thorimbert (105). Jordon Hall leads the league with six power play goals; Kevin Crowley is fourth in shots with 66, and Brodie Merrill is third in the league with 83 loose balls. In addition, goaltender Brandon Miller recently resigned with the club.
Our radio coverage of Saturday night’s game starts at 7 p.m. with the radio pre-game show on ESPN 1520. Video coverage begins when The Lacrosse Network picks us up at 7:30 p.m. WGR’s Dave Buchanan will cover for Randy Mearns.