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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: The best ever

   January 19, 2008 -- We've known John Tavares is a special indoor lacrosse player for well over a decade. We received more proof of that a year ago on this date in 2008.

   Tavares scored the 597th goal of his great career, becoming the top goal-scorer in NLL history. That went well with his NLL records in career points and assists.

   The record fell as Tavares' Buffalo Bandits defeated the New York Titans, 17-13, before 12,961 in HSBC Arena. He had four goals and two assists to run his goal total to 597 in a 17-year career that spanned 197 regular-season games at that point. Gary Gait was the previous record holder at 596.

   "I realized they were kind of sagging in and I was going to take my chances and shoot it," said Tavares, who had scored three times in the first 18 minutes, on the record-breaker. "I got kind of a shooter's goal on it. . . . But it would have been anticlimactic if we hadn't won the game."

   Tavares has played more than two full seasons since then. He tied for the league lead in goals in 2009 with 51.

--- Budd Bailey

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