February 4, 2011 - 7:08 PM
7:04 p.m. -- Greetings from HSBC Arena. The Bandits and Minnesota Swarm are warming up as we speak as they get ready for the 7:30 p.m. start.
Scott Self is not on the active roster tonight. It is believed he is serving a one-game suspension for a hit during the Toronto game two weeks ago. James Purves has been called up from the practice squad to take his place on the roster.
Mike Thompson is slated to be the starting goalie. Just heard around the press box that Ken Montour has been cleared for activity as he battles a long-lasting concussion. He's obviously a long way from being game-ready, but it's good to know he's taken that step.
We'll have to see what scratches are made tonight. Coach Darris Kilgour said there would be some changes in the playoff roster for this one. He was very disappointed in the team's offensive output against Toronto last week. He had reason to be; one goal in the first three quarters is not good enough.
7:10 p.m. -- The stat of the week, according to a website: There have been 12 game misconducts handed out in the NLL this season. The Bandits have five of them.
Tonight's game is shown on nll.com, and also on Time Warner Cable 87.
7:20 p.m. -- The scratches for tonight are Kyle Clancy, Tom Montour and Ian Llord. Since he hasn't played in the first five games, it's easy to wonder what's up with Llord's status, as he was a regular for the past couple of years.
7:32 p.m. -- The Swarm has taken the field. Make sure you take a look at Minnesota's uniforms sometime. They are black with gold stripes down the sleeves and sides of shorts. It's supposed to be bee-like, I guess, and they are distinctive. Attractive? Um, an individual call.
7:41 p.m. -- John Tavares has the first goal of the night. It's number 698 for his career. Will we see #700 this evening?
7:44 p.m. -- I'm not sure what the record is for most illegal picks in a quarter. I have little doubt that we're headed for it.
7:53 p.m. -- The Bandits have turned it up a few notches and are getting really good shots. The goals have followed. It's 4-1, Buffalo.
8:01 p.m. -- Rory Smith and Brandon Francis just squared off in a fight. It took them quite a while to get to work; all we needed was the National Anthems. Buffalo has a 5-2 lead after its first short-handed goal of the season (Chris Corbeil).
8:08 p.m. -- And that's the way it ends up after 15 minutes. I think the first quarter ended about this time last week, even though it started 30 minutes earlier.
8:19 p.m. -- No scoring so far in the second period, and chances haven't been that common. Buffalo had 17 shots in the first period, but only two in the first 4:40 of this one. Play has turned chippy, and the officials seem anxious to keep control of this one.
8:28 p.m. -- Chad Culp has completed his first hat trick as a Bandit. It's 7-2, Buffalo.
8:47 p.m. -- The Bandits played a very solid half in taking an 8-4 lead. Odd to see Culp and Corbeil as the offensive leaders, but everyone has chipped in.
9:05 p.m. -- We're back for third quarter play, and the teams have already traded goals. Jon Harasym scored on a breakaway to open the second-half scoring. I thought Harasym had a fine game in Toronto last week in terms of being around the ball.
9:10 p.m. -- The attendance tonight is 15,001. Wonder who the one is? Bandits lead, 9-6, with 9:45 left in the third quarter.
9:19 p.m. -- The Bandits are in the midst of a four-minute power play, but they have been outscored, 1-0, in it so far. If Minnesota comes back to make it interesting...
9:33 p.m. -- ... but they have a long way to go to do that. John Tavares got #699 to make it 13-8 with 15 minutes left to play.
9:50 p.m. -- I'm typing up my story for the newspaper, but you haven't missed too much. The Bandits are up, 14-10, with 6:17 to go. Plus, they are on the power play.
10:00 p.m. -- The Bandits are up 3 with 70 seconds left. And they go on to win 15-12.
11:33 p.m. -- We give the traditional last word to Mark Steenhuis, who was happy to see the team rebound with a good offense performance after a dreary night last week:
"When you only get five goals and get your [butts] chewed out pretty good, you're going to start
moving," Bandits' Mark Steenhuis said. "We all heard it … the defense needs to be 10 times better, the offense needs to keep cutting and moving. We wound up being pretty stagnant in Toronto, and if we had done that tonight we all probably would have lost our jobs."
And so, good night from HSBC Arena.
--- Budd Bailey