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Live from First Niagara Center: Bandits vs. Mammoth

7:47 P.M. - I have discovered that the usual blog is not appearing on the News home page. Time to do it old school. 

We are six minutes into the game, and the Bandits lead Colorado by either 1-0 or 2-0 depending on how this goal review goes. Kevin Brownell and Aaron Wilson are the Buffalo scratches. Billy Dee Smith is back in the lineup after missing a game with an ankle injury. 

Adam Jones and Casey Powell are out for Colorado. 

Chad Culp has the first goal of the game. The Bandits' forward has 400 career points. The video review overtuned the goal ruling, so we are still at 1-0. 

7:50 p.m - Bandits are wearing green uniforms for St. Patrick's Day. Pretty nice, actually. 

7:54 p.m. - John Tavares got into open space when a Colorado defender missed a chance to intercept a pass. He still knows what to do in that situation. It's 2-0, Buffalo. 

8:06 p.m. - Joe Resetarits thrills the Hamburg contingent with a goal from close range. Then Steve Priolo strikes with a short-handed score. We're at 4-0, Buffalo. 

8;20 P.M. - Resetarits strikes again. It's 5-0 Buffalo, even though the shots are 19-17. And we take a break for the silly blooper reel. 

8:24 p.m. - Just when I started looking up when the Bandits last had a shutout half, John Grant Jr. strikes for Colorado. My fault. 

8:34 p.m. - Mammoth closed to within 5-3, thanks in part of a pair of power-play goals. But Ryan Benesch got the lead back to three goals with a nice cut to the net. We are 6-3 at the half. 

8:48 p.m. - Rochester just had an 8-1 quarter against Toronto, and leads, 13-10, after three. I get the impression that the Knighthawks and Bandits ought to have some fun games the rest of the way, including the postseason.

8:57 p.m. - A couple of veterans - Mark Steenhuis and Grant - have scored in the second half. The net effect is the same; the Bandits lead by three with 9:10 left in the third quarter.

9:07 p.m. - Colorado has cut the lead to 7-5, and has a 5-minute power play coming. A key part of the game is about to begin. There are 3 minutes left in third period. 

9:14 p.m. - John Grant Jr. tied the game with two goals on the Mammoth power play. But Tavares untied it in the final moments of the period. Bandits lead, 8-7, after three periods.

9:20 p.m. - Buffalo leads, 9-8, with 11:26 left. There's one Colorado fan below the press box. His cheers for Mammoth goals, um, stands out.

9:24 p.m. - Time is down to 8:11, score still the same. 

9:29 p.m. - Williams and Steenhuis strike to make it 11-8, but Colorado has a power play. 

9:35 P.M. - Cosmo has been great down the stretch. Good thing I picked him as a star.

9:42 p.m - Bandits win, 12-9. Off to locker room. 

11:32 p.m. - As you'd expect, the Bandits were a satisfied group after the contest. They didn't like most of the third quarter, and five power-play goals against were almost costly, but they still won the game.

“It’s nice to see our team dominate fourth quarters,” Bandits forward John Tavares said. “To me it looks like we know how to win. The last couple of years, it seems like we found ways to lose. This year we’ve found ways to win. That’s the sign of a good team.”

By the way, Colorado's loss tonight means Edmonton has clinched a playoff spot. That's with about eight games left. Impressive. We'll see how the Rush do against the Bandits on Friday night. Good night from Buffalo.

--- 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.