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Live from First Niagara Center: Bandits vs. Knighthawks

6:53 p.m. - Opportunity is right in front of the Buffalo Bandits.

If they win tonight's game with the Rochester Knighthawks, they will gain ground over the weekend on all three of their divisional rivals. Philadelphia and Toronto both lost yesterday, and Rochester would split their two games of the weekend with a loss today.

On the other hand, Rochester would move into a tie with Buffalo at 3-3 with a win tonight. That bad start by the Knighthawks would be more or less erased.

A couple of notes for tonight: John Tavares is on the injured reserve list. That means he'll miss tonight's game and next week's contest. Jon Harasym is off the suspended list and will play.

Good news for Luke Wiles - he said he has received his green card. That means he can cross the border again. It can only help his game.

7:13 p.m. - Scratches for Buffalo - Jimmy Purves, Hayden Smith and Nick Cotter. That puts Kevin Brownell and Carter Bender in the lineup.

Old friends dept. - On the Rochester roster tonight, Angus Goodleaf, Mike Accursi and Ian Llord.

Shameless plug: I am on Twitter @WDX2BB. I am slightly behind the Kardashians in followers.

7:36 p.m. - It is Native American Night tonight, and a $1,000 scholarship was awarded before the game. We'll have a special faceoff featuring ex-Bandit Mike Thompson, and then we're off for the third straight home game.

7:41 p.m. - Joe Walters has a goal off a two-on-one break for Rochester after 27 seconds. Just before that, Chad Culp took a cross-check to the head from Dylan Evans and required some medical attention. He did walk off the field.

7:50 p.m. - Rochester still leads, 1-0, with 6:32 gone in the game. There have been a few good chances both ways, but nothing too consequential.

7:55 p.m. - The Bandits didn''t allow a power-play goal when down, five on three, but they did give up a score to Stephen Keogh. Rochester, which has had fits with Buffalo and Toronto in the last few years, leads by 2-0.

8:02 p.m. - Tough to win if you don't score any goals, and the Bandits have none through 15 minutes. They look a little out of sync and have a few turnovers. Rochester hasn't dominated, but it is been good enough to lead, 3-0.

8: 14 p.m. - Rochester has maintained its three-goal lead. Wiles just scored to cut the margin to 5-2. Bandits pulled Anthony Cosmo in favor of Kurtis Wagar in goal in an effort to shake things up a little.

8;24 p.m. -- The Bandits had two minutes of five-on-three but couldn't score. They have 1:24 left on one more power play. The offense has been a touch off the whole night. The Knighthawks have a 6-2 lead with 4 minutes in the half.

8:35 p.m. - Halftime. Bandits trail, 7-2. The shots are 34-22, Buffalo, which is rather remarkable. It doesn't seem like it should be that one-sided in terms of play.

8:53 p.m. - Anthony Cosmo back in goal for the second half.

9:01 p.m. - It hasn't helped. It's 9-2 Rochester. Cosmo let in a bouncer by Keogh (hat trick) and a straight-on shot by Cody Jamieson. The officials are now measuring Vinc's equipment for no apparent reason. We're still five-on-five, in spite of a delayed penalty, so I hav no idea whaqt happened. But Buffalo scores as I type.

9:05 p.m. - History lesson: Bandits haven't lost by seven goals at home since April 16, 2011 to Boston.

9:08 p.m. - -Current events lesson: Knighthawks lead, 10-3. Cody Jamieson just made a sensational pass to Tyler Burton across the field. Burton had no problem beating Cosmo from close range.

9:15 p.m. -- The third quarter has ended, and the Bandits have shown few signs of life all night. Rochester has an 11-4 lead. The Knighthawks had been having trouble scoring goals at times. They got 20 on Friday morning in Philadelphia, and are closing in on a dozen quickly here.  

9:26 p.m. - Rochester is ahead, 13-5, with 8:44 left. It's been a clinic, with a couple of spectacular goals by the Knighthawks in the fourth quarter.

9:39 p.m. - Looks like a 15-7 loss, one of the worst losses at home in history. Not a good night here.

11:38 p.m. - It took some searching, but there was a worse home loss. It came in 2002 to Rochester. But it was nothing to be proud about, as you could imagine.

Darris Kilgour gave a talk to the team afterwards; he said the words were "private." He and others weren't happy as you could imagine.

I asked Kilgour if this was the type of game that he had a bonfire for the video, or used it as a teaching tool: "You have to be real careful with this type of game," he answered. "You can break spirits just showing mistakes that were made."

The story will be posted shortly. Off to Rochester next week.

--- Budd Bailey

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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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