6:51 p.m. - Hello from the Blue Cross Arena. Are we in for a different storyline that we had last week when the Bandits played the Knighthawks in Buffalo last week, or will we get something different.
Stay tuned for the answer. The two teams are set to meet for the third time this season, which is a lot considering it is game seven of the season. I asked coach Mike Hasen about the schedule, and he said there aren't many surprises when two teams play each other so often; it's all about execution.
The Bandits continue to reassemble the 2001 team. OK, just kidding. But Scott Komer is on the roster as a backup goalie. He replaces Kurtis Wagar, who had a back injury suffered last week against Rochester. Wagar had an MRI and checked out cleanly, but was put on the practice squad to give him some time to recover.
Komer was a teammate of Shawn Williams and John Tavares on the 2001 Bandits, after Matt Disher was traded. He didn't play much. Komer has been on the Barrie Blizzard of the Canadian League lately. In fact, he writes a blog for the web site. Scott isn't bad at it, worth a look if you are so inclined.
Anthony Cosmo will get the start tonight. Tonight's Buffalo scratches ae Hayden Smith, Carter Bender and Kevin Brownell. So the rookies get to sit and the vets take their turn. For Rochester, Casey Powell is scratched.
7:13 p.m. - Just to pass this along - Ted Nolan, who serves as an executive in the Knighthawks' organization, moonlights as the hockey coach of the Latvia hockey team. He'll be going to the Olympics next year as Latvia qualified for the Games. Nice job.
7:35 p.m. - We are about ready to go. Don't know if this is on Time Warner Cable back in Buffalo, but it doesn't look like it. Try nll.com to get to YouTube/TheLacrosseNetwork.
Matt Vinc and Anthony Cosmo are the opposing goalies just like last week.
7:42 p.m. - Plenty of Buffalo Bandits' fans are in the building. They seem louder than last time. They just cheered a Shawn Williams goal. Buffalo up, 1-0.
7:44 p.m. - Both goalies have been pretty steady. Cosmo didn't sound particularly confident after last week's game - understandable - but he's done a good job in the opening 6:15.
7:52 p.m. - Scott Self's brother tied the score for Rochester. He got free on transition and scored on a semi-breakaway. Bandits just did a good job of killing off a Rochester power play, and now they have a man-advantage situation of their own.
7:59 p.m. - We have finished a period of play, and it's been a calm one. It's tied at 1-1 after 15 minutes. Not a great many glittering scoring opportunities.
8:08 p.m. - About five minutes gone, and it's still 1-1. This may be the dullest story in history for the first edition at this rate; it's tough to describe missed chances.
Just said hello to NLL Commissioner George Daniel, who said he tries to make the rounds of league cities during the season. I asked him about an All-Star Game, since nothing has been announced on that front and we're getting late. He said the logistics this year just wouldn't work, so it looks as if one won't be played this year.
8:17 p.m. - I'm not sure what the team record is for fewest combined goals in a half. We gotta to be close to it. Luke Wiles put Buffalo up 2-1. Otherwise, there have been lots of shots but no goals. Very odd.
8:28 p.m - We've had a burst of scoring, by our standards. Lately, it's been all Buffalo - three straight scores. Luke Wiles, Dhane Smith and Scott Self have the Buffalo fans chanting. Only 32.8 seconds left in the half.
8:30 p.m. - At halftime, the Bandits lead, 5-3. Rochester has a 28-26 lead in shots.
8:52 p.m. - The tempo has picked up early in the second half, although we only have a goal to show for it. Cory Vitarelli, who had a big game last week in Buffalo, scored for Rochester to cut the lead to 5-4. Both goalies have had some good stops.
8:56 p.m. - A Nick Cotter goal, originally waved off, was counted after a review. And Dhane Smith just added a score to make it 7-4, Buffalo.
9:06 p.m. - Bandits have done a good job answering any challenges. Buffalo leads by a 9-5 count with 4:42 in the third period. Aaron Wilson and Wiles added some insurance.
9:14 p.m. - Bandits have a 9-5 lead after three quarters. It's a hat trick for Wiles, and two goals for Dhane Smith. But the story so far probably has been Anthony Cosmo, who has turned in a very good performance - probably his best of the season.
9:25 p.m. - Bandits are still up by four at 10-6. No sign of a sustained rally by Rochester lately.
9:33 p.m. That's still the case. The score is even the same at 10-6 with 3:36 left. Important not to go into the bye week with a three-game losing streak.
9:42 p.m. - That's the way it ends. Cosmo had 53 saves.
11:02 p.m. - Bandits were obviously happy and relieved to win this one. They adjusted their defense a bit in order to pack the middle and push the Knighthawks to the outside. You'd have to say it worked with the best defensive output of the season. A 4-3 record sounds much better than 3-4 going into the break.
--- Budd Bailey