7:18 p.m. -- So far, so good. It looks as if I'm back in the blogging business at games. It's been a troublesome few weeks, which saw me buy a new computer, return it (eventually), get a replacement, and then have trouble connecting last week at the All-Star Game. Cross your fingers; I can use the support.
There are a couple of pregame news items here. Billy Dee Smith is not in the lineup. He has been suspended for a game for an undisclosed violation of team moves. And Anthony Cosmo gets the start in goal. Cosmo was acquired during the three-week break from Minnesota for a couple of first-round draft choices. He's had a couple of weeks to get rid of some rust. He'll be under the spotlight tonight.
We might see a little history tonight. John Grant Jr. of the Mammoth has 496 career goals. Since he is the league's top scorer this season, you'd have to think he has a chance to break that mark.
The Bandits have lost four in a row. They have never ... as in ever ... lost five games in a row. And they have to beat the best team in the league (6-1) tonight.
Tonight's other Bandits scratches: Tom Montour and Angus Goodleaf.
7:37 p.m. -- The Bandits seem intent on creqating contact tonight. We have a bit of a scrum going on right now. Shouldn't be surprised by that when on a losing streak. Cosmo already has made a couple of good saves. It's fair to say he doesn't look rusty.
7:45 p.m. -- We've had a little flurry of scoring, with the Mammoth taking a 2-1 lead. Mark Steenhuis had the goal for Buffalo.
7:48 p.m. -- Adam Jones of Colorado and Canisius College is on the scoresheet ... for a penalty. He took a slashing penalty, as did Chris White. Jones smashed his stick in the penalty box. We're 2-2 after a goal by Tracey Kelusky.
7:58 p.m. -- Bandits get through the first 15 minutes with the lead. Both sides have had some power-play time.
8:05 p.m. -- OK, Adam Jones is on the scoresheet for real, with a nice bounce shot from the slot. Drew some extra applause from the crowd, too.
8:12 p.m. -- Colorado has pulled away a bit to lead, 6-3, with 8:30 left. John Grant Jr. has the last two goals to reach 498. I always root for milestones on either side, journalistically speaking.
8:19 p.m. -- The Bandits are staying in range, at least. They trail, 7-5, with 3:53 to go in the period. Colorado has had the better of the play overall, though.
8:27 p.m. -- Until now. Buffalo has scored the last four goals, including two by Luke Wiles, to take an 8-7 lead.
8:33 p.m. -- And that's the way it stays at the half.
8:48 p.m. -- One interesting stat from the first half -- the Bandits were 14-3 on faceoffs. Remember a couple of years ago, when they won 14 faceoffs a month?
8:51 p.m. -- Another goal for Grant; that's 499. Only Tavares and Gary Gait are at 500.
8:55 p.m. -- Derek Hopcroft put the Mammoth up, 9-8, and that's where we stay with 9:38 left in the third quarter.
9:04 p.m.. -- Kelusky to the rescue. He has scored two straight goals to tie matters at 10-10.
9:11 p.m. -- John Grant Jr. gets #500, the third NLL player to reach that number. John Tavares and Gary Gait are the others. Nice job. Good hard shot from outside. 13-12, Colorado.
9:15 p.m. -- The Bandits have scored between 10 and 14 goals in every game this season. They are at 12 now with more than a quarter to go.
9:19 p.m. -- Make that a quarter to go. Colorado leads, 13-12, in a game which looks like it might go down to the last possession. Buffalo's last two games have been decided by a goal (both losses)
9:30 p.m. -- Mammoth up, 15-13, and Mike Thompson has replaced Cosmo in goal.
9:37 p.m. -- Score remains the same with 3:24 left.
9:46 p.m. -- Bandits lose, 16-13.
11:40 p.m. -- Darris Kilgour came out firing in the postgame news conference, leaving no unit and few players untouched. He opened the session with this: "Our defense was terrible, and until we fix the defense we're going to be a bad team, and we are a bad team right now." After five straight losses, I would guess few would disagree.
-- Budd Bailey