The race to win the East is heating as the Buffalo Bandits head north of the border to take on the Toronto Rock tonight.
Faceoff from FirstOntario Centre is set for 7 p.m. on ESPN+, ESPNU and 1520 AM.
The Bandits currently lead the conference with an 11-3 record, but the Rock are right behind at 11-4.
The two clubs last met on December 17 in Toronto with Buffalo coming home with an 11-8 victory. Tehoka Nanticoke recorded a hat trick and six other Bandits scored to help the Bandits win their first game of the season.
Buffalo is coming off a 7-6 overtime win on the road over the San Diego Seals last week. Captain Steve Priolo scored the first overtime goal of his career to send the Bandits home happy.
Among all NLL defensemen this season, Priolo ranks second in assists (13), fourth in points (17), fifth in loose-ball recoveries (113) and third in blocked shots (18). With two points in the remaining four games this season, he can surpass his point total from last season (18).
Head coach John Tavares tied Troy Cordingley for second place all-time in team history last weekend with 46 head coaching wins. With a win tonight, he would take sole possession of second place.
Dhane Smith leads the league with 75 assists and is second with 103 points. Tom Schreiber paces the Rock with 95 points and also leads his team in both goals (38) and assists (57). Corey Small (32) and Dan Craig (31) have also produced 30-goal seasons for Toronto.
A goaltending duel could also be in the works. Heading into this weekend’s slate of games, Buffalo’s Matt Vinc and Toronto’s Nick Rose were tied for the league lead with 11 wins each. The goalies were Top 2 in minutes played, and Vinc led the league with 592 saves while Rose was fourth with 532.
The Bandits will head back to Buffalo for their next game on Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. against the New York Riptide at KeyBank Center. Tickets are on sale now.