6:48 p.m. -- Greetings from Rochester, where if you listen carefully, you can hear the cheering all the way from Syracuse over the Orange's win over top-ranked Louisville. (Spoken like a graduate, as you might have guessed.)
And speaking of orange ... the Bandits are ready to play Game Three of their season against the Knighthawks. Buffalo split last weekend's games, and now have to play their biggest rival. Just to add a little drama, the Knighthawks will raise the banner from last season's championship before the game. That means the big question is ... what time will the game actually start? My bet is 7:50, but no wagering please.
Mike Hominuck will be in the lineup tonight, as he finally gets his chance to play. Jon Harasym will sit out. Harasym was given a two-game suspension from the league earlier this week, but he has appealed and was eligible to play today. Nick Cotter will sit as well this evening, while Hayden Smmith stays in the lineup.
Speaking of debuts, Casey Powell is in the Rochester lineup. He missed the opener, a loss in Washington. Powell is a former MVP in the league, the only-American born one if memory serves. He took last year off.
Anthony Cosmo gets the start tonight in goal. He's been pulled in the last two games. It would be easy to say that the Bandits need Cosmo to be in form, but at least Kurtis Wagar has done well in relief roles in the past two games.
7:06 p.m. - Mike Accursi is something of a surprise scratch for the Knighthawks. Cosmo and Matt Vinc are the starting goalies.
7:23 p.m. - The game is supposedly on Time Warner Cable Channel 25 back in Buffalo tonight. So feel free to check out the game that way (but leave the computer on!).
7:36 p.m. - The banner is in the rafters. Last year's captain and ex-Bandit Pat McCready carried the trophy on to the field.
7:46 p.m. -- The game is underway. Wonder who won the pool?
7:57 p.m. - The Bandits are the team that look inspired by the banner-raising. They scored the first three goals and lead, 3-1. Luke Wiles scored the 200th goal of his career. Casey Powell got one for Rochester.
8:14 p.m. - Turning point? Bandits had a goal waved off with a crease violation with 5 seconds left. Knighthawks scored with 1.1 seconds left in the quarter. We're done with 15 minutes all tied at 3. In other words, Buffalo now has nothing to show for its good start.
8:25 p.m. - Casey Powell just had an apparent goal wiped out. Then moments later John Tavares scored to put Buffalo ahead by 5-4. It's turning into an interesting night at the office.
8:30 p.m. - In case you are curious, it seems like there are fewer Bandits fans here than normal. There are still many such fans here. And if you thought a banner-raising game would be a sellout (guilty), you'd be wrong. Plenty of seats open in the corners.
8:40 p.m. - Aaron Wilson finishes a 4-on-2 break to put Buffalo up, 7-6. We have 3:10 left in the half.
8:46 p.m - Casey Powell's goal in the final seconds moves Rochester into a 7-7 at the half. Interesting that Rochester has never led.
9:06 p.m. - Cory Vitarelli has put the Knighthawks ahead for the first time. Naturally, as I type that, the Bandits tie it at 8-8.
9:15 p.m. - Dan Dawson's stuff shot has given Rochester the 9-8 lead. Meanwhile, Philadelphia scored four straight goals and leads Toronto by one with four seconds left. It's going to be a fun year. (Update, Philly does win the game.
9:25 p.m. - As we wait for a challenge no-goal call to be ruled upon, the Bandits have a 10-9 lead ... which disappears when a Brad Self goal is allowed. So we're tied with 2:36 left in the quarter. Last goal wins?
9:30 p.m. - Knighthawks have an 11-10 lead after three quarters.
9:39 p.m. - Putting Mike Hominuck into the lineup is a good idea. He has three goals; that matches his total of last season. We're tied, 11-11, with 9:17 to go.
9:50 p.m. - Rochester up, 13-12, with 3:43 left.
10:05 p.m. - Bandits win, 14-13, on Kelusky goal with 10 seconds left and one on the shot clock. Amazing game.
11:26 p.m. - Quite a finish. Kelusky's goal was a behind-the-back effort, a technique that fooled goalie Matt Vinc. As Darris Kilgour said after the game, "It was not the way we drew it up."
Still, the Bandit moved to 2-1 on the young season and get a big win over the defending champion in their building. The full story should be posted soon on our website. So, good night from Rochester.
--- Budd Bailey