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Bandits notebook: Getting ready for the home opener

The Buffalo Bandits are only three days away, as of this writing, from Game One of the home season. The Toronto Rock, a favorite in the East and undefeated this season at 2-0, will play the Bandits in HSBC Arena.

Here are a few notes collected as we wait for the first home faceoff of the season:

* The Bandits will show off their new/old uniforms in the game. Buffalo has a 20th anniversary retro jersey ready for 2011, and it will debut on Saturday. The jerseys also will be used on Feb. 19 vs. Philadelphia, March 5 vs. Rochester, April 8 at Toronto, and April 16 vs. Boston.

* Mark Steenhuis has been picked as the NLL's Transition Player of the Week. He had a goal and two assists in Saturday's win in Philadelphia. Steenhuis is tied for the team lead in goals with three with John Tavares and Tracey Kelusky.

* On today's conference call involving NLL coaches, Bandits coach Darris Kilgour said he didn't expect much of a carry-over from the preseason brawl between his team and the Rock. That incident in Six Nations, Ont., created quite a bit of discussion; the game had to be stopped in the third period and there were suspensions issued.

"It's on the media's mind more than ours," Kilgour said.

Most of the players in that game didn't make the final roster, so it's not as if there are many scores to settle. But ... games between Toronto and Buffalo have been spirited in the past, so we'll see what happens when the games really count.

* The Bandits have been posting a series of videos reviewing the start of the 2010 season, complete with behind the scenes footage. You can check out part three by going to the Bandits' site. The four parts eventually will add up to a 22-minute segment.

--- Budd Bailey

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