Brandon Robinson notched a career-high five goals, including three-straight tallies in the third quarter to give the Buffalo Bandits a hefty cushion and cruise to an 18-9 victory over the Georgia Swarm on Saturday at Gas South Arena in Duluth, Georgia.
Robinson’s career day highlighted an already potent Bandits offense as Tehoka Nanticoke (4+4) and Kyle Buchanan (3+5) each added eight points. Josh Byrne recorded three goals and dished out three assists while Ian MacKay pitched in a pair of goals and an assist and Brad McCulley registered a two-point night in his first game of the season.
Dhane Smith posted seven assists in the win, which featured three separate four-goal scoring runs for Buffalo.
Goaltender Matt Vinc made 30 saves in net. Devlin Shanahan recorded two stops in just over three minutes of action in his first career NLL game.
With the win, the Bandits improved to 3-1 in the campaign and extended their winning streak to three games.
“I think we’re finally getting used to each other,” Robinson said. “You know, there’s a lot of change on the left side this year. With Clooch (forward Chris Cloutier) going down, that’s a big loss for us.
“I’m just trying to step up my game. I think everyone on the offense is just trying to step up. We’re getting used to each other now and I think it’s only going to go up from here.”
The Bandits jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a goal from Nanticoke just over a minute into the contest, but the Swarm responded with one of their own to tie the game early in the first quarter.
Buchanan scored 19 seconds later, igniting a 4-0 run that saw goals from Nanticoke, Buchanan, and Robinson.
Robinson’s first of the night was the result of a highlight-reel worthy play as he caught and shot the ball one-handed after a behind-the-back feed from Byrne.
— Buffalo Bandits (@NLLBandits) January 8, 2023
Lyle Thompson scored with nine seconds remaining in the first to give Georgia some life before the Bandits opened the second quarter with four-straight goals, sparked by a pump fake and quick shot from Byrne that fooled the Georgia defense.
Buchanan, Byrne, and Robinson each found the back of the net during the scoring spurt to give Buffalo a seven-goal cushion midway through the second.
The Swarm attempted to climb back, outscoring the Bandits 4-1 to pull within four heading into the third.
Byrne and Robinson provided some breathing room for Buffalo, tallying four goals, while the Bandits’ defense kept Georgia off the scoresheet to take an eight-goal lead into the final frame.
In the fourth, McCulley netted his first of the season from Smith and Buchanan after being elevated from the injured reserve Saturday afternoon.
Nanticoke capped off his four-goal night and MacKay added a pair of markers to give the Bandits an 18-7 advantage, but two unanswered goals from the Swarm in the final four minutes of play closed out the scoring.
“I think it was all around just a great team effort from us,” Robinson said. “We had a game plan coming in, we stuck to it, and it showed on the scoreboard.”
The Bandits will look to extend their win streak to four games as they play host to the Swarm for the back half of the home-and-home series on January 14 at KeyBank Center.
Faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.