March 25, 2016- Buffalo, NY- The Buffalo Bandits defeated the Vancouver Stealth 17-10 on Friday night at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. It was the second and final meeting of the season between the two out of division rivals, with the Bandits holding a 1-0 lead in the season series. Tyler Richards started in goal for the Stealth, while Anthony Cosmo played for the Bandits.
53 seconds into the game, Rhys Duch opened the scoring with a diving shot that beat Cosmo over the left shoulder. For Duch, it was his team leading 28th goal of the year. Keegan Bal had the lone assist. The Stealth lead would last less than three minutes, as David Brock and Dhane Smith scored the next two goals to give the Bandits a 2-1 advantage. After Daryl Veltman made it 3-1, Corey Small scored his 24th goal of the season with a perfectly placed bounce shot at the 12:59 mark. Jordan Durston and Bal had the helpers. After 15 minutes, the Bandits led by a 3-2 score, but were being outshot 12-11.
With both teams unable to beat Richards or Cosmo for more than 10 minutes in the second quarter, Kevin Brownell scored at 10:35 on a breakaway to make it a 4-2 game. With 24 seconds left, Smith scored his second of the game during a Buffalo power play to close the half giving his squad a 5-2 advantage. Smith led all players after 30 minutes with three points, while Bal was right behind him with two assists. Buffalo led the shot count 27-23.
In the third quarter, Joel McCready scored his first of the game with a shot that beat Cosmo between the legs before the shot clock expired. Small and Cliff Smith were in on the assists. However, Buffalo responded with back to back goals from Smith and Mark Steenhuis 28 seconds apart to make it 7-3. Duch got those two goals right back for the Stealth, as he notched his second and third of the game less than a minute a part to bring the game to within pair of goals. Bal had the lone assist on his second, while Small was in on the hat-trick marker. At 9:32, Smith scored his fourth of the night to make it 8-5, but the three goal lead did not last long for Buffalo, as Thomas Hoggarth notched his second goal of the season on a rebound. After Anthony Malcom scored to make it 9-6, Duch capped off the third quarter hat-trick at 14:15 with the assists going to Ian Hawksbee and Tyler Richards.
The final quarter started off great for the Stealth with Duch beating Cosmo with a bounce shot at the 35 second mark. However, Buffalo would go on their largest run of the game getting five goals less than four minutes and took a 13-8 lead with less than nine minutes to play. Smith had two of those five Bandits goals. At 8:23, the run would end, as Duch and Small replied with back to back tallies for the Stealth to make it 14-10. However, that would be as close as they would come with Steenhuis, Priolo (empty net), and Malcom scoring three straight markers to cap off the scoring in the game.
An eight goal fourth quarter was the difference in the game for Buffalo, who picked up their fourth straight win. Dhane smith led all players with 6 goals and 6 assists, while Duch led the Stealth with 6 goals and 1 assist. Corey Small ended with 2 goals and 3 assists, while Keegan Bal finished with a career high of 4 assists.
The Stealth are back in action on Saturday, April 2 at the LEC against the Toronto Rock at 7:00pm PST. Tickets are available online at www.stealthlax.com or by phone at 604.882.8800.
FINAL SCORE: Bandits 17 – Stealth 10, SHOTS ON GOAL: Bandits 59 – Stealth 54, LOOSE BALLS: Bandits 83 – Stealth 68 FACE-OFFS: Bandits 19-31 – Stealth 12-31, POWERPLAY: Bandits 2-5 – Stealth 0-3.