By Alex Pagliano - Bandits.com
After consecutive road losses last weekend, the Buffalo Bandits look to snap a three-game road losing streak Saturday night. The Bandits trek to Vancouver to challenge the Vancouver Stealth at 10 p.m at the Langley Events Centre.
The Bandits last two games were played on the road. They fell to the undefeated Edmonton Rush on Friday and then in overtime to the Minnesota Swarm on Sunday.
“I think you can take the positives out of the Minnesota game. I thought [Minnesota goaltender] Tyler Carlson stepped up for them and that game was something we worked really hard at,” Bandits assistant coach Dan Teat said. “There was no shortage of effort and we have to go into Vancouver and a play a team that is desperate for a win.”
The Bandits could build off of certain pieces of last weekend’s play. The team led Edmonton after one quarter and remained competitive throughout the second as well.
“I thought we stuck with Edmonton for two quarters,” Bandits transition player Dhane Smith said. “We’re looking to start a new season here and get some wins underneath our belt.”
At Minnesota, seven of the Bandits nine goals were scored by right-handed shots. Forward Joe Resetarits continued to demonstrate impressive stick skills, particularly around the net, as he recorded his second career hat trick.
“It’s real nice to see the crashers, the bangers and the young guys going to the net and scoring,” Teat said. “That’s great to see for us. We don’t have that guy who will score five or six night, but we can probably add eight or nine a night and then work with our transition and special teams from there.”
Vancouver last played Friday night at home against Calgary. The Roughnecks held the Stealth to under 10 goals for the seventh time this season, defeating them 13-8 on the road. Stealth head coach Chris Hall acknowledged that his team needs to produce more goals in order to be successful.
“Our offense has been a bit of a mix and match for quite a while,” Hall said. “We need more production from our support staff. We just have to find a way to score more goals.”
Forward Rhys Duch leads the Stealth with 56 points (26+30). Goaltender Tyler Richards has posted an 11.94 goals against average with three wins over 12 games.
Just 1.5 games back of the third and final postseason spot in the NLL West Division, the Stealth come into Friday’s game desperate for a victory.
“Sometimes, teams that are desperate for a win are tougher to beat,” Teat said. “You just have to try and hoard off that momentum early.”
The Bandits can also clinch a postseason spot with a win this weekend and either a Minnesota loss or a Toronto loss. The Swarm travel to NLL West Division runner-up Calgary on Saturday, while the Rock host unbeaten Edmonton on Sunday.
The Bandits return home on Saturday, April 5 to host the Calgary Roughnecks at 7 p.m. The Bandits will also raise funds for Tucker Williams that night as the team has designated the game as “Tucker Out Lymphoma Night.”
Details on what to expect on April 5 can be found here.