Bandits defeat Rock to win season opener 13-9

10 different players score for Buffalo in victory

Dave Buchanan
December 09, 2017 - 12:06 am

Photo: Bill Wippert -


The Buffalo Bandits opened the 2017-18 season with a 13-9 win over the Toronto Rock in front of 11,516 fans at Key Bank Center on Friday night.

Buffalo took the lead for good late in the third quarter when they broke a 6-6 tie with two quick back-to-back goals. The Bandits got goals from ten different players, including two each from Mitch Jones, Callum Crawford and Nick Weiss. 

It was improved effort by the Bandits compared to a majority of their games from last season. They jumped out to an early lead, had a balanced scoring attack and played excellent defense, especially solid goaltending from Alex Buque. Buque made 55 saves on 64 shots in his Bandits debut after being acquired from Colorado during the offseason. 

Rookies Josh Byrne and Chase Fraser both scored their first career goals. Byrne scored on a spin around shot early in the second half just as the shot clock was running out. The first overall pick in the NLL Draft finished the game with a goal and four assists. Dhane Smith led the Bandits with seven points (1 G, 6 A). 

The Bandits have next weekend off. The finish December with road game at Rochester on December 23 and Toronto on December 30.



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