The Buffalo Bandits return home to host the Rochester Knighthawks at KeyBank Center on Saturday.
The team will hold its annual Native American Heritage Night, held to honor the indigenous history behind the game of lacrosse and celebrate the rich culture of our native communities. Find more information on the night here.
Faceoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
The Bandits have played three straight games on the road, beginning with a 15-12 loss in Rochester during Week 8. They won on consecutive days in Philadelphia and New York last weekend.
Buffalo ranks second in the East Conference at 6-2, a half game behind Rochester.
“Being on the road develops some chemistry,” head coach John Tavares said. “Being away for two games in one weekend definitely brings the guys together, especially when you end up winning both games.”
There are a number of Bandits among the league leaderboards, including Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne. Smith (63) and Byrne (51) rank first and second in the league in points. Byrne leads the league with 25 goals; Smith leads with 48 assists.
Rochester is led by former Bandit Connor Fields, who leads the team in goals (21) and points (39) along with Curtis Knight, who leads in assists with 22.
A second chance
The Bandits will look to avenge their Week 8 loss against the Knighthawks, having the chance to do so at home this time. Despite Rochester dropping its first game of the season last weekend, Bandits forward Kyle Buchanan expects the Knighthawks to come out as the same high-powered team they faced prior.
“They made some adjustments in the game that allowed them to go on a pretty good run there against us at their arena,” he said. “They want to rebound after their first loss and they’re riding some decent momentum, so we’re looking forward to that challenge on Saturday.”
Buchanan has been an underrated part of the Bandits’ offense this year, as his 35 points rank third on the team behind Smith and Byrne.
The Bandits’ all-time record against the Knighthawks sits at 26-36, a stat the Bandits have a chance to remedy starting on Saturday.
Tavares emphasized the impact of returning home after three weeks away.
“We love playing in front of our home fans,” he said. “It’s like having an extra player on the floor, and it gives you an extra edge. Hopefully that can be the difference to the game.”