Game preview: Bandits @ Stealth

The Vancouver Stealth (3-5) host the Buffalo Bandits (5-4) for the one and only time this season at the Langley Events Centre. For the Stealth, two out of the four games in March will be against the Bandits as they close the month paying a visit to First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

The Stealth, who sit third in the West Division, enter Saturday looking to stretch their home winning streak to three games, but are coming off an 11-10 defeat to Colorado last week. Buffalo on the other hand, picked up a 19-18 overtime win in Saskatchewan last Friday, and are in second place in the East Division.

“Buffalo is a good team that has been putting up some good numbers this season. We have been through some tough losses this year, but I like where our mindset is at and we will be fired up for this one,” said rookie Jordan Durston.

The Stealth defense will face the NLL’s top scorer in Dhane Smith, who is running away with the scoring lead recording 33 goals, 43 assists, for 76 points in 9 games. He currently has a 21-point cushion on second place. As a whole, the Buffalo offense has been potent all season and lead the league in goals with 126.

“As a player I love playing against the top talent in the world, and Dhane Smith is lighting up the league right now. He presents a challenge for us, but we are a veteran group and will be ready for the task at hand,” said defenseman Chris O’Dougherty.

Stealth forward Rhys Duch will run out on the floor with one of the hottest sticks in the National Lacrosse League. The Victoria native has registered at least a hat-trick in five straight games and in that span has put up a total of 16 goals. He leads the team in goals with 20 and sits seventh in league goal scoring.

This will be the 19th all-time meeting between the Stealth and Bandits. Vancouver is 6-12 overall and 3-7 when hosting Buffalo. The Bandits won both meetings a season ago.

“We have been playing pretty well on our home floor these last couple games and I feel like we have been feeding off the crowd’s energy, especially in the late stages. We need to get off to a good start and play a full 60 minutes,” finished Durston.

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