The Buffalo Bandits will attempt to win their fourth game in a row when they host the Georgia Swarm on Saturday. After a convincing 18-9 road victory over the Swarm last week, the Bandits return to KeyBank Center to close out the home-and-home series.
Faceoff at KeyBank Center is slated for 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+ and 1520 AM. Tickets are on sale now.
Since dropping their first game of the season, the Bandits have not lost since, working their way up to second place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 3-1 record.
“We have to keep building off the little things that we’ve been doing well the last three games,” head coach John Tavares said. “Having successful clears, maintaining good possessions, and capitalizing on our opportunities when presented.
“It’s important to try and keep everybody happy and put them in positions to succeed. Usually when guys are doing what they enjoy to do and they’re successful doing it, they have a lot more fun. We have a bunch of great guys. It’s like a family environment, and guys like seeing the success of their teammates, so when you have that atmosphere, it’s fun to be a part of.”
The Swarm are currently 0-3 on the season and sit in sixth place in the East, after losing games to the Rochester Knighthawks, Philadelphia Wings, and Buffalo.
Hitting Their Strides
In last weekend’s game against the Swarm, the Bandits totaled 18 goals, matching their season high in that category and doing so in consecutive games. The scoresheet was led by Brandon Robinson, who notched a career high five goals, as well as an assist.
Tehoka Nanticoke (4+4), Kyle Buchanan (3+5), Dhane Smith (0+7), Josh Byrne (3+3), and Ian MacKay, who tallied two goals.
After the game Robinson spoke on his career day as well as the streak the team is on.
“I think we’re finally getting used to each other, he said. “I think everyone on the offense is trying to step up. We’re getting used to each other now and I think it’s only going up from here.”
The Bandits have multiple players among the league leaders in stats. Byrne is second on the league leaderboard in goals (14), while Smith leads the NLL in assists (26) and is second in points (30).
Smith is one assist away from tying Mark Steenhuis for second place (535) all-time in Bandits history.
The Bandits have had key contributors on defense as well, with Nick Weiss and Ethan O’Connor both in the top five for blocked shots, with six and five, respectively.
Goaltender Matt Vinc is second in the league in wins with three, and fourth in the league with 153 saves.
After recording the win last Saturday, Vinc tied Anthony Cosmo (38) for second all-time in franchise history in the category. With a win this weekend, Vinc will gain sole possession of second place.
The conclusion of the home-and-home series will be the final meeting between the Bandits and the Swarm this season.
Buffalo has won the last four meetings against Georgia and holds a 26-12 lead over Georgia in the all-time series.
“They’re desperate, they’re 0-3” coach Tavares said. “We had a very successful game in Georgia, but they’re still a very good team.
“They have a potent offense and have a lot of great athletes on defense, so we definitely can expect a different Georgia team coming to Buffalo than what we saw last weekend.”