6:58 p.m. - The Buffalo Bandits finally get to play someone from the West tonight.
They've only had one game against a West Division team. Buffalo played Minnesota way back in its first weekend. Since then, nothing but Toronto, Philadelphia and Rochester. But tonight, Colorado comes to town.
It wouldn't be a Bandits' game without a couple of roster moves. Buffalo has released Mat Giles, who just returned to action after missing almost two months with an injury. He played two games last week. Jamie Rooney finally gets his turn at making an impression, as he has been activates.
Meanwhile, John Tavares apparently will not play tonight. He has been bothered by a calf injury.
The Bandits couldn't work out this morning, as workmen were breaking down the stage from last night's concert. So they had a video session instead.
Colorado didn't need a workout this morning. The Mammoth lost in Toronto Friday night, and get right back to work tonight. Colorado is at the bottom of the standings, and needs to win some games soon. Only one team misses the playoffs in this league, and the Mammoth is coming off an 11-win season.
One note that didn't make the paper this week - Jay Thorimburt was named the NLL's transition player of the week. He's having a nice season.
7:11 p.m. - For those planning ahead, the Bandits' game against Washington on April 13 was supposed to be televised by the CBS Sports Network. Change of plans - CBS will do another game in the afternoon.
7:16 p.m. - John Gurtler has asked me to be his halftime guest tonight on Radio 1520. He knows I work cheap.
7:23 p.m. - Tonight is 200 games behind the bench for Darris Kilgour, the most in the NLL's history.
7:33 p.m. - The scratches for Buffalo - Tavares, Mike Hominuck and Mike McNamara.
7:36 p.m. - We're ready to go. Might be the biggest crowd of the season. Guess all of those Scouts did some good work moving tickets - they may get merit badges for marketing.
7:40 p.m. - Giles has been spotted in the press box tonight by an alert media member (thank you, Alan Rosenhoch). Therefore, you'd have to conclude he could be back at some point with the Bandits.
7:43 p.m. - Jamie Rooney has scored in his first game of the season. He came over from Toronto in an offseason trade. This is Rooney's sixth team, all in the East (including Boston and New York).
7:51 p.m. - Dhane Smith makes it 2-0 with a low shot from the slot.
7:58 p.m. - Shots are 10-4 Colorado, but goals are 2-0, Buffalo. That may tell you something.
8:02 p.m. - Bandits blank Colorado in the first quarter and lead, 3-0. It's the 36th time in team history that Buffalo hasn't allowed a goal in a quarter. Jimmy Purves scored the other Bandits goal as he came out of the penalty box for a breakaway. Shots are 13-5, Colorado.
8:09 p.m. - It's been a strange game. Colorado is getting all the shots (18-7), but most of them have been outside. At one point, the Mammoth had seven straight shots at the goal before giving up possession. Not sure I've seen that before. Still 3-0 with 10 minutes left in the half.
8:21 p.m. - Colorado has climbed back into the game. Adam Jones, formerly of Canisius, scored the first goal, and Joey Cupido followed. Jones has a good-sized cheering section up in the 300 level. Either that, or the Mammoth really travels well.
8:28 p.m. - We're tied, 4-4, after 30 minutes. Shots are 32-14.
8:53 p.m. - Buffalo has jumped back ahead. Dhane Smith and Nick Cotter got the goals to put the Bandits ahead, 6-4.
9:02 p.m. - There is 4:48 to go in the third quarter, and it's still 6-4. No goals from Shawn Williams, Aaron Wilson and Luke Wiles, but the rest of the Bandits are helping out nicely. Shots on goal have evened out in this period (8-8).
9:06 p.m. - Just like that, the Mammoth score two goals in less than two minutes. We are tied up, 6-6.
9:10 p.m. - And that's where it stays after 45 minutes.
9:20 p.m. - Jordan McBride put Colorado ahead, 7-6. Nine minutes and 51 seconds left. Another good one.
9:31 p.m. - The Mammoth had scored four straight goals in the fourth quarter and lead, 10-6. Aajor reversal is needed for the Bandits to avoid a return to .500.
9:38 p.m. - All Colorado here. The Mammoth have a 12-6 lead in the final minute.
9:40 p.m. - A 10-man brawl broke out just before a faceoff. Not doing my deadlines any favors. Not sure what happened; Colorado's timeout with 30 seconds left may have angered the Bandits.
9:46 p.m - Bandits lose, 12-6. Not much handshaking after the game.
11:57 p.m. - Holy mackeral. A messy, messy performance by the Bandits, complete with an ugly ending. Hard to do that justice in a couple of stories, but they'll be posted on the News' website shortly. Bottom line is that the Bandits were outplayed from start to finish by a team that had lost five in a row.
As far as the fighting is concerned, the Bandits had been fifth in PIM in the league entering this weekend; that will certainly change. I'm not sure where members of the team stand when it comes to possible suspensions, but that's always possible. There were a bunch of game misconducts, etc. handed out (go to nll.com to get the game sheet).
Same two teams in a week in Denver. In the meantime, thanks for following along.
--- Budd Bailey