Buffalo’s three veteran additions combined for seven of Buffalo’s goals and had nine points total on the night. Luke Wiles had a great first outing (3+1) and looks to be exactly the type of player the Bandits were searching for. Kevin Buchanan (2+1) and Mat Giles (2+0) also had strong nights in their Banditland debut.
Of course, the ageless wonder, John Tavares, proved he is still the best to play the indoor game. Despite suffering various ailments over the past few seasons, Tavares had a tremendous debut against Toronto. There should be no surprise that his eight-point (2+6) game has set the table for the superstar to lead the Bandits in scoring once again.
In total, the Bandits had nine players with multiple points and fourteen players in total who registered at least one. In addition, Mike Thompson was stellar in goal. Thompson turned aside 41 shots which registered an impressive .804 save percentage.
Perhaps the most impressive fact about this victory was the second half surge the Bandits enjoyed. Trailing at the half, Buffalo handily dominated the second half and came away with the victory. That says a couple of things; there are finishers on this roster and they have a strong ability to score in bunches. Continuing the ability to roll up dominant second half lacrosse will be key for the Bandits this season.
- A big surprise was that Darris Kilgour chose to scratch Tom Montour and Roger Vyse. Frank Resetarits was also scratched, although he is less of a surprise. Montour is one of the best transition players in the league and Vyse’s talents have long been showcased in Buffalo. Vyse’s recent contract extension obviously adds to the surprise factor here, but apparently Kilgour wanted to see some of his new toys in action. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vyse and Montour (or all three) play against Rochester this weekend. It is possible that Kilgour simply wanted to try out his new players before determining a concrete depth chart.
- Kilgour said he is planning on getting Angus Goodleaf in four to six games. If Mike Thompson is going to continue to play at the level he showed on Saturday, Goodleaf may see his workload trimmed a bit. Thompson has long been a cornerstone for this team and looks capable of running together another impressive season.
- Ten goals against is a very good number for the Bandits to surrender. The defensive corps may actually be the greatest strength of this team – despite the big names playing out of the front door. It doesn’t seem like a stretch to expect the Bandits to keep their team goals against between 10 and 13 this season.
- Considering the additional flood of talent to the nine remaining teams this season, the Bandits will be facing a particularly difficult test nearly every week. One point that Darris Kilgour often cites is that every game in this league is tough, no matter what a team’s record may be. That may never be truer than in this season. Even the teams whose records will sink are likely to be capable of pulling wins against the league’s top contenders.