Features | 5/1/2010 5:41:24 PM | Jackie Lewandowski
Brandon Francis is rolling with the punches.
With his team advancing to the first round of the 2010 playoffs, Francis is looking to continue his role as a physical force and momentum changer.
As the playoffs bring about a much more physical style of play from teams across the league, Francis is keeping his game the same and working with what he knows.
“If it’s not a fight, it’s a loose ball or a big hit or something,” Francis said. “I try to get these guys fired up and get the crowd into it, it’s my job.”
Serving the enforcer role of the team, Francis has accumulated 53 penalty minutes in just 10 games played during the regular season. In addition, he also netted one goal and two assists for a total of three points (1+2) and collected 13 loose balls.
Francis’ play was especially crucial in clinching a Bandits’ playoff spot with a victory last weekend against the Boston Blazers as the forward began the fourth quarter with a duel against Blazer star Paul Dawson.
Known for their physical style of play across the league, the Bandits will not change their game plans for the playoffs, and instead work to build on that foundation and stay consistent.
“We want to go in there and we want to dominate physically like we do every game,” Head Coach Darris Kilgour said. “I don’t think there is a team in the league that likes playing against us, but at the same time we haven’t been focused enough to make the plays that change momentum throughout the game.”
Those game changers are what Francis and the team as a whole are working to accomplish during the upcoming playoffs.
However, because of their physical play the Bandits have to work to avoid the penalties that have struck the team numerous times throughout the year.
“We like to play rough and make a statement,” Francis said. “It’s kind of hard to go all out with the referees calling everything though.”
However, the team is not pointing the finger at the referees for their losses, and recognizes that their hardships have been of their own doing.
“The main thing is our focus,” Kilgour said. “I think we go out there hard every time and we hit every time. Everything we talk about, we have to go out and do each and every night.”
That effort will continue this Saturday, May 1 as the Bandits take on their rivals the Toronto Rock at the Air Canada Center at 7:30 p.m.
With Bandits fans sure to make the trek up the QEW, Brandon Francis is looking to get the crowd going for the team early to help contain a Rock-rooting crowd.
“We are do or die and there is no more,” Francis said “We just started the playoffs early in our minds and so I’m going to try and get the crowd into it early and get our boys running. Hopefully we get the win.”
The winner of this weekend’s contest will face either the Boston Blazers or the Orlando Titans in the Division Final the weekend of May 7-9.
Stay tuned to Bandits.com for all the latest scores and updates.