Another 4th quarter deficit turned into another exciting finish for the Buffalo Bandits. Tracey Kelusky, with just 12 seconds left on the game clock and five seconds on the shot clock, snuck a behind-the-back shot past Rochester goalie Mike Vinc to help the Bandits (2-1) spoil the Rochester Knighthawks (0-2) home opener and championship banner raising ceremony with a 14-13 win.
The win lifted the Bandits all-time record against Rochester to 20-26 and moved the team into an early-season tie for second place spot in the East Division.
Mike Haminuck added a hat trick for the Bandits and Shawn Williams continued his offensive excellence, as he scored eight points (two goals, six assists) and stretched his team lead in points to 15 (four goals, 13 assists). Dhane Smith also continued an impressive rookie campaign, scoring two goals and adding two assists.
Bandits goalie Anthony Cosmo had a good game after a rough opening weekend, stopping 34 of the 51 shots he faced, and made several key saves over the course of the game.
The Bandits got off to a fast start, scoring three goals in the first three minutes. Williams scored his first of the game just 67 seconds into the game, Hominuck scored 35 seconds later, and Luke Wiles added a goal a little over two and a half minutes later. The goal was the 200th career goal for Wiles.
The Knighthawks, however, stormed back, scoring three unanswered goals of their own, including a tying goal from Johnny Powless with just one second left in the 1st quarter.
The two teams would go on to play a see-saw game. Shawn Williams scored 59 seconds into the 2nd frame, only to have the Knighthawks’ Stephen Keogh answered two and a half minutes later to tie the game once more.
The Bandits got goals from John Tavares and Mike Hominuck in three minutes to take a two goal lead. The Knighthawks stormed back one minute later, getting goals from Craig Point and their reigning leading scorer Cody Jameison to tie the game.
Aaron Wilson got his 900th career point, and gave the Bandits a 7-6 lead, but Casey Powell scored another last second goal, slipping a shot past Anthony Cosmo with just four seconds left in the second quarter.
The teams would continue to trade goals throughout the third and fourth quarters until the Knighthawks had what could have been the game winner at the 10:25 mark thanks to Koegh’s third goal of the night. Chad Culp and Kelusky had other plans.
Culp, much like he did against Minnesota, took advantage of a late power play opportunity, to tie the game for the Bandits with 1:55 left in the game. Then, Kelusky got the last laugh, adding his own last second goal to give the Bandits the win.
The Bandits will return to action next Saturday night, as they come home to take on the undefeated Philadelphia Wings (2-0) and try to avenge their opening night loss. Game time is set for 7:30 PM at the First Niagara Center (KB1520 AM/The Lacrosse Network).