Features | 2/25/2011 9:20:49 AM | Michael Jafari

The Buffalo Bandits may be off for the weekend, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lacrosse game.

The 2011 National Lacrosse League All-Star Game will be played this Sunday and the game will feature four Bandits players.  John Tavares, Mark Steenhuis, Chris White and Brett Bucktooth will all suit up for the East squad in a game that will feature the best lacrosse players in the world.

White and Steenhuis were voted in as starters for their team along with Philadelphia Wings goaltender Brandon Miller, Boston Blazers sniper Casey Powell and Toronto Rock players Colin Doyle and Pat McCready.  It will be White’s third straight All-Star Game as the Bandits’ defenseman and captain played in the star-studded event in 2009 and 2010.

“It’s good and quite an honor.  You can take quite a few guys from this team in Buffalo and put them in the starting lineup,” said White. “It’s a nice feeling to have because you get respect from the fans, coaches and GM’s.”

The All-Star Game isn’t anything new to Steenhuis, who was named the MVP of the game in 2004, 2007 and 2009.  The transitional player was the first player in NLL history to be named MVP of three All-Star Games and will be appearing in the event for the seventh straight time. This season, Steenhuis (10-17-27) ranks second on the Bandits with 27 points and was named Transitional Player of the Week back on January 19.

Tavares was picked as a reserve in this year’s festivities, but the NLL’s all-time leading scorer has been recognized for the body of work he has put together throughout his career.  Tavares will serve as captain for the East All-Stars with Doyle and McCready as his assistants.  Through seven games this season, Tavares (13-22-35) leads the Bandits in goals, assists and points, and has surpassed both the 700 career goal mark and the 1,500 career point milestone in recent weeks. His next regular season assist will be the 800th of his career.

“The familiarity is great.  You’re always going to have Johnny and Mark there because those are the guys the fans want to see.  Putting us defensive guys in the game is an added bonus for us,” said White.

The three big-name Bandits will be joined by a longtime teammate in Bucktooth, who will go to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career.  The game will be held at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York, which is a familiar area to the Bandits forward.  Bucktooth grew up in nearby Nedrow, New York, and played college field lacrosse at Syracuse University.  Since he has so many ties to the area, it is an extra special event for the grinder.

“I’m pretty fortunate to have a lot of friends and family back home, and I was lucky enough to play at Syracuse, where they’ve seen a lot of my games.  Since I came to Buffalo they haven’t watched as much, but now they’re excited that I can play near home,” said Bucktooth.

The event gets better for the Oneida Native as the league has announced that there will be a ceremony to honor the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team.  The team is being honored for their defense of Native American Sovereignty this past summer after they were denied to travel to the Lacrosse World Championships using their Native American Haudenosaunee Passports.  Because of their model approach through the unfortunate circumstance, several players and coaches from the team will be recognized in the ceremony, including Bucktooth. The ceremony will take place at halftime.

In addition to the four Bandits players, the league also announced that two other personalities from the Buffalo organization will take part in the game.  John Gurtler will handle the television broadcast play-by-play duties for the game on Versus Network while Chris Swenson will serve as the game’s public address announcer.

Gurtler is in his eighth season as voice of the Bandits, and can be heard calling Bandits games on Time Warner Cable television and on radio at KB 1520 AM.  Swenson is in his 20th season as the Bandits’ PA announcer and is known around the league for his energetic style and ability to get the crowd on their feet during NLL games.


John Tavares, Mark Steenhuis, Chris White and Brett Bucktooth will be on hand as the best players in the world take part in the 2011 NLL All-Star Game on Sunday, February 27 at 2pm ET at Turning Stone Events Center in Verona, NY as East battles West.

Tickets are available now at Ticketmaster.com at the following link:

Can't make it to the game? Watch it on Versus and on TSN2 in Canada. Don't miss out on the action. Get your tickets today!

Before the game’s scheduled 2pm ET face-off, make sure to stop by the NLL Fan Fest, located in the Cypress Conference Area adjacent to the Event Center. The Fan Fest will begin at 10am, when fans will have the opportunity to play the NLL Lacrosse video game against fellow fans. They can also play lacrosse in Rock the Box, a half-court box lacrosse setup open to players of all ages and skill levels. NLL players will be on hand to teach skills in both a clinic and pickup style setting between the hours of 10am and Noon. Fans are encouraged to bring their own sticks to the event, where they can even shoot on goaltenders.

Make sure to bring a souvenir as well, as the same NLL All-Stars will be signing autographs from 10am to Noon.

VS.  Calgary Roughnecks
 January 09, 2016 - 07:30 PM 1 2 3 4 F
 Calgary Roughnecks 0 0 0 0 0
 Buffalo Bandits 0 0 0 0 0