Bandits - Wings Live-blog
blog by BuffaloDotCom • February 19, 2011 @ 8:05pm
Pre-game - The Buffalo Bandits will try to avoid complacency tonight against the Eastern Conference’s worst team, the Philadelphia Wings (3-4), who have lost to Buffalo twice already in 2011. Last Saturday, the Bandits stormed past Philly by a score of 16-7; the Wings have mustered only 6 and 7 goals in the two contests. The home team is the heavy favorite tonight, but Buffalo assistant coach Rich Kilgour encouraged the squad to forget last weekend’s win and forge ahead tonight.
Pre-game - The thumbnail for the live-blog is courtesy of Buffalosportstees.com, and also backs one of the Bandits’ PA announcer’s worst chants. Whenever Bandits’ star transition player Mark Steenhuis does something of note - which, honestly, is fairly frequently - he’ll shriek “Whose house?” and the crowd will respond “Steenhuis,” if they do in fact choose to respond.
Pre-game - If Buffalo can control Athan Iannucci (32 points) and Drew Westervelt (20 points), Philadelphia doesn’t possess the secondary scoring options of a Toronto or a Minnesota, so the Wings’ offense will falter if those two aren’t firing on all cylinders.
Pre-game - Brendon Mundorf, Patrick Heim, and Ryan McClelland are the inactives for Philadelphia, while Buffalo sits Darryl Gibson, Jay Thorimbert, and Travis Irving. Defensemen Ben McCullough, the team’s 2011 second round pick (13th overall), will debut tonight for Buffalo. 12 year NLL veteran Brandon Miller starts in net for Philadelphia, while Angus Goodleaf earns his second start of the year for Buffalo.
Pre-game - Today’s game preview from the Buffalo News’ Budd Bailey focused on the exploits of Chad Culp, whose early season scoring has been a pleasant surprise. Read the story here.
Pre-game - Buffalo.com photographer Dave Marino seen finding a great vantage point for the Bandettes - the Bandits’ dance team - first routine of the night. That’s clearly why we pay Dave the big bucks.
Pre-game - Goodleaf allowed only seven goals against Toronto in his lone start of the eason, an 8-5 loss against the stingy Rock. Mikey Thompson returned between the pipes to register two wins, but he’ll watch from the bench this evening as the 340 pound 23 year old mans the goal.
Pre-game - Brandon Francis receives one of the bigger cheers - goes to show how much Buffalonians love the crazy-fighter-types. Retired Andrew Peters just gave me a dirty look somewhere.
Pre-game - The Wings trot onto the field to a chorus of boos from a 75% full HSBC Arena.
Pre-game - The Bandits sure know how to choose their national anthem singers. Jennifer Mis was gorgeous and talented last year, and Tara Minogue wears eye-catching glittery objects - and she’s a brilliant singer.
Pre-game - Johnny Tavares is being honored for recording his 700th goal last week against Philadelphia - most in NLL history. He’s presented a plaque with Bandits colors and the number 700 emblazoned on it. Tavares’ family and Coach Kilgour greet him at midfield for a moving moment.
15:00 - Brandon Francis waits for the face-off against Jeff Reynolds, who wins it from him. Philly swings the ball around, but Chris Corbeil pokes the ball away and starts a fastbreak for Harasym. Big save by Miller blocker side. Miller stops Tavares on a weak shot.
13:36 - Miller paries Steenhuis’ shot aside after Chris White’s crunching check ended a Philly possession. Steve Holmes couldn’t beat Goodleaf in transition - Buffalo ball, but the Bandits give it back quickly.
12:01 - Over-and-back violation on Philadelphia after the Wings earned a new shot clock off a rebound. Buffalo ball.
11:49 - Bucktooth can’t wriggle free around a screen, and Kelusky fires a shot that bounces off a defender’s bads and over the top. Tavares sees his shot blocked by Paul Dawson, the Wings’ gritty defender.
11:20 - The orange mohawk of Brenden Thenhaus strikes first for Buffalo! Thenhaus took a cross-carpet feed from Tavares and sailed a low shot into the far corner of Miller’s net. 1-0 Buffalo with 11:17 left.
10:41 - With that assist, Tavares has now scored 1,500 points in the NLL - most all-time in that category as well. Goodleaf stops Alex Turner’s long-range shot easily.
9:56 - Brett Bucktooth outmuscles Taylor Wray on the far wing and scoots in to Miller’s doostep and slots the ball in. The official waves the goal off due to a foot in the crease, but Kilgour immediately whips out the challenge flag. Stoppage in play.
9:56 - The goal is no good. “Rex only responds to noise,” the Bandits PR announcer states about the Buffalo mascot. Don’t we all just respond to noise?
9:56 - Brett Bucktooth is called for goaltender interference before the challenge. Bad news. Philly power play - Ryan Boyle promptly slings a shot over the net, but Dan Hardy corrals the rebound and drills it past Goodleaf. You can hear a pin drop in here now. 1-1 tie after the PPG. Francis loses the faceoff again.
8:32 - Miller denies Vyse on a clear-cut opportunity, and Bill McGlone tallies quickly at the other end after a nifty screen-and-roll by Alex Turner. 2-1 Philadelphia, and Buffalo fans start to pay more attention to their Bud Lights. Philly wins another face-off.
7:32 - Steenhuis tries to hit a cutting Brenden Thenhaus, but the pass is too far. Still, Miller must react to knock it away. Underhand shot by Westervelt is stopped by Goodleaf. Ryan Boyle is stuffed on the doorstep after Westervelt set him up. Bandit ball.
5:55 - McCullough pounded Alrich, who tried to sneak out in transition. Miller jumped from his crease to deflect away Bucktooth’s blast from distance seconds prior. Turnover by Westervelt.
4:57 - Miller traps Tavares’ rifle with his pads - still, the veteran goaltender has gotten a clear look at all Bandit shots tonight, and there’s been little traffic in front of him. The Bandits need to start making the extra pass rather than settling for low-percentage shots from outside. Still 2-1 Philly.
4:57 - A fan just got beaned in the nose by a beach ball. Buffalo.com photographer Bill Parker isn’t a huge proponent of the beach balls.
4:05 - Miller jumps out of his net to deny Thenhaus a good angle - Philly goaltender has been very active. Llord rips away a loose ball - Buffalo possession.
3:21 - Vyse heaves a long shot from a stationary position - another poor shot choice there. Curse of the HSBC Arena floor this weekend? The Sabres were miserable yesterday. Seibald sees his shot blocked by Angus.
2:07 - Continued impatience from Buffalo. Culp’s defender sagged off him, begging him to shoot, and Miller got a clean look at the ensuing shot. Near scrum betwen Ryan Boyle and a Buffalo defender, but Darris Kilgour calls the troops to the bench for a timeout. He doesn’t look too animated on the bench, however, as Rich and the other assistants are doing the majority of the talking.
1:25 - Priolo just clobbered Philly’s Matt Alrich directly in front of the Wings’ bench. Alrich is slow to retrieve his gloves, as he hit the deck fast after a couple blows from Priolo. The referees are sorting out the penalties, but the brief spat brought Buffalo fans to life. Priolo heads to the dressing room to rousing applause from the Bandit faithful. Life will be difficult without the sturdy defender, however, as it’s starting to look like a game misconduct.
1:25 - Brandon Francis and Paul Dawson get in each other’s faces between the benches - remember it was Dawson who knocked Travis Irving out cold last weekend on the road, preventing him from suiting up tonight. Dawson is a marked man. Chris White is pleading the Bandits’ case in front of the penalty boxes.
1:25 - 2 minutes for instigating, 5 minutes for fighting, and a game misconduct for Steve Priolo. The fans are not pleased at the harsh penalty. Steenhuis and Alrich are whistled for off-setting minors - but both will spend two minutes in the box. 7 minutes short handed for Buffalo due to the Priolo call, however.
:58 - Apparently, Priolo jumped off the Bandit bench to squash Alrich - that’s enough for a game misconduct. Alex Turner scores on a bouncer from a bad angle for Philly - 3-1 now on the power play goal. Assist to Dan Hardy, but that’s one that Angus would like back. Turner’s 10th of the season.
——————————————————————-End of First Quarter, Philadelphia 3-1——————————————————
15:00 - Not the start the Buffalo envisioned. For a usual minor penalty, when the team on the power play scores, the man in the box returns to the field and the penalty is over. With major penalties like Priolo’s, however, Philadelphia can score two goals before McCullough can leave the box.
14:15 - Goodleaf darts across his crease - all 340 pounds of him - to deny a quick-stick chance by Turner on the power play. Westervelt retrieves the loose ball and feeds Turner again, but his poor angled shot caroms wide of the near post. Buffalo uses an entire shot clock in possession - over three minutes remain in the penalty.
13:12 - Scott Self runs down a loose ball for Buffalo, and the penalty kill continues. Iannucci’s laser from outside is pushed aside by Goodleaf, and Scott Self pokes another ball free for Buffalo. Self’s exceptionally quick on defense. Under 1:40 on the penalty.
11:28 - Gigantic goal for Buffalo from Tommy Montour shorthanded. Montour blocked a shot and burst out on a fastbreak - he placed his shot neatly over the left shoulder of Miller after Chris White lobbed a pass in front of him. Beautiful communication and transition play from the defensive duo. 3-2 Philadelphia.
10:17 - Philadelphia returns the lead to two on a goal from Dan Hardy - another one that Goodleaf would like another look at. A stationary Hardy flung a shot that eluded Goodleaf - may have been screened.
9:53 - Tracey Kelusky has the Bandits back in business with a missile from inside the left faceoff circle. The shot may have bounced in off the post - pinpoint precision from the Buffalo offseason acquisition. 4-3 Philadelphia after three quick goals.
9:46 - NLL fans are pretty bizarre - another three “fellows” shown in total blue bodysuits - they made it pretty evident that they weren’t wearing anything underneath. Culp’s hard work in front of Miller draws a two minute holding penalty on Paul Dawson.
8:27 - Two errant passes on the power play have Buffalo desperate for good possession. Tavares’ first pass to Culp snuck away from the forward, while Montour’s pass to Tavares on the weakside was too hard and low to convert on a 3-on-2 break.
8:26 - Double minor on Taylor Wray for roughing - two minutes on Ben McCullough, but Buffalo will be on the two man advantage for 56 seconds.
8:15 - Delay in the start of the two man advantage - the referees are vehemently discussing something with each other, while the crowd is becoming antsy. Steenhuis and Tavares chat with the refs. Miller denies Kelusky’s shot from the doorstep - Steenhuis attempts to beat Miller five-hole with no luck.
7:44 - Penalty awarded to Buffalo, drawing more boos from the fans. Steenhuis heads to the box for cross-checking. Buffalo is on the man advantage for 5 more seconds, then the teams will be at even strength for a minute.
6:52 - Vyse turns and whips a shot into the body of Miller - stoppage in play with under seven minutes left in the first half. 26 more seconds in the penalty to Wray, over a minute left in Steenhuis.
6:31 - Philadelphia is back with a two goal cushion after Athan Iannucci deposited a shot into the short-side of Goodleaf’s net. 5-3 Philadelphia behind Iannucci’s first of the evening.
5:52 - Great kick save on a point blank opportunity by Iannucci in transition - Miller spreads his shoulder to trim the angle on Bucktooth, whose shot sails wide.
5:08 - Foul called on Philly after Steenhuis was barged into. Tavares’ pass is inaccurate, and Alrich scoops up the loose ball. Hardy bulls over Steenhuis but can’t release a shot.
4:18 - Tremendous save by Miller after Steenhuis had a wide-open chance. Fantastic athleticism from Miller. Chris White forced the turnover that set up Mark’s chance with a vicious stick-check of Drew Westervelt behind his own net. Another scrap after the play, and there will probably be more penalties.
4:12 - Philadelphia ball. Seibald squirms through traffic and slips a shot at Goodleaf, who concedes a rebound to McGlone, who can’t finish over the top of Angus. Kelusky threads an over-the-shoulder pass through a tide of players in the attacking third, and there’s a penalty called on Philly. Former Bandit Joe Smith to the box for holding.
2:34 - Kelusky’s shot sails off the boards, and Vyse’s rebound attempt flies harmlessly into Miller’s body. Goodleaf saves a feeble shorthanded attempt, but there’s only 45 seconds remaining in the penalty.
2:00 - Finally, some ball movement from Buffalo, and they’re rewarded. Quick passes around the perimeter between Tavares and Kelusky creates space for Roger Vyse, who scores on a quick stick at the back post. 5-4 Philadelphia.
1:09 - Vyse nearly adds a second in succession, but his shot trickles behind Miller but is touched away as it reaches the goal-line. Still, there’s a penalty on Steve Holes, and Buffalo has the man’advantage again.
:55 - JT ties it up with a blast from straight on between the faceoff circles. The screamer seemed to have caught Miller by surprise, and there’s no time for hesitation with Tavares firing away from the perimeter. Kelusky tacks on another assist. 5-5 tie.
:27 - Miller denies Thenhaus on a glorious opportunity in close. Steenhuis is penalized again - two minutes for goaltender interference. The officiating might be worse here than in tonight’s UB Bulls game over at Alumni. McGlone turns the ball over to Montour.
———————————————————————————-Halftime, 5-5 tie———————————————————————-
Halftime - Several first half penalties have Buffalo scrambling to stay afloat, but the home team battled back to knot the score before the half. The game misconduct and seven minute major penalty on Priolo had Buffalo in a defensive mindset, but they withstood the flurry.
Halftime - Uneven first half from Goodleaf in net - he stopped the difficult chances and couldn’t handle the gimmes. Philadelphia relied less on Iannucci in the first half and spread the ball around - Alex Turner was plenty involved, as was Ryan Boyle. Drew Westervelt hasn’t lit the lamp yet, either.
Halftime - Miller’s stood tall throughout, but can he handle the shot-barrage for the entire 60 minutes? Kilgour must have addressed discipline in lockerroom, as penalties have been killer so far. Buffalo’s back on the floor with a minute left, only now does Philadelphia return.
15:00 - 2 goals and 1 assist from Dan Hardy to lead the Wings in the first half. 1 goal and 3 assists for Tavares, who’s now two helpers away from 800. Milestone night for JT.
13:42 - White checks Iannucci before he can release a shot. Steenhuis’ penalty from the first half is now killed off. Buffalo leads the shots on goal category 32-23.
12:32 - Turnover by Philadelphia.
12:12 - Goal, Buffalo! Mark Steenhuis jetted past a defender along the baseline and slipped a shot under the body of Miller, who surprisingly didn’t crouch to stop the shot. 6-5 Buffalo.
11:46 - Athan Iannucci - on the power play - rockets a screened-shot past Goodself to tie the game at 6. Second tally of the night from Iannucci, who missed all of 2010 with a serious knee injury.
10:55 - David Brock attempts a shot in transition, but Goodleaf swallows it up. He’s a hungry man, but pretty nimble for a giant.
9:11 - Buffalo almost scores a highlight goal late in the shot clock - Clancy flipped a pass into Kelusky, who whipped a behind the back shot that Miller booted aside.
8:27 - Ben McCullough is back in the thick of things again, as he creamed Joe Smith in front of the Bandits net. Both players are slow to get up. This game hasn’t been very exciting.
8:27 - Ke$ha’s “We Are Who We Are” is supposed to fire people up? Not working out so well. The small children seem to like the beat, though. Hopefully, they all don’t want to grow up to be like her. The world only needs one Ke$ha.
8:23 - Harasym is awarded a two minute penalty for high-sticking, and Ben McCullough is called for a five minute penalty and a game misconduct. Three seconds into the power play, Dan Hardy rifles a shot past Goodleaf on the blocker side. The man advantage continues. 7-6 Philadelphia.
7:01 - Culp pings a shot on goal, but Miller’s up to the task. Culp chases down his own rebound, however, and is smothered by four Wing defenders. The fans are irate that there’s no penalty called. Buffalo remains shorthanded, and Philly takes possession after Culp’s shot bounces wide.
5:30 - Boyle and Iannucci each try to beat Goodleaf, but he’s pretty wide in net. Boyle tries again, but his shot doesn’t find the target. This power play is taking an eternity to kill off, as there’s still a minute left in the major to McCullough.
4:00 - Shot clock runs out on Philly, as the Wings pepper shots against the glass. Hard to score when you can’t hit the target.
3:32 - Silence again in the arena after Steve Holmes beat the Bandits down the floor in transition - dove to his left across the crease and beat Goodleaf before he good shuffle over. Holmes’ first goal of the season has the Wings up 2, 8-6. Another power play goal.
3:08 - Max Seibald is caught with a minor - two minutes for checking from behind. You can’t do that, apparently, but player check from behind all the time, it seems.
2:43 - Philly goalie Miller hedges out of his net to cut down the angle on an outside shot, but Kelusky fakes the shot and feeds Culp in the corner for the quick stick goal - the short side was gaping for the resurgent Buffalo forward. 8-7 Philly.
1:20 - After they capitalized on the last power play quickly, the Bandits will have another attempt with the man advantage after Joe Smith dragged down Clancy in front. Vyse misses after a quick cross-carpet pass. Miller stands tall to stop Tavares’ blast from the point.
:25 - Miller stoned Kelusky on the doorstep after Tavares found him unmarked in front of the Philly goal. Buffalo has outshot Philly 40-29 after three quarters.
—————————————————————————-End of Third Quarter, Philadelphia 8-7——————————————-
15:00 - 40 seconds left in the power play for Buffalo. Kelusky fumbles the ball for Buffalo but recovers and feeds Tavares, whose blast bounces wide of the far post. Buffalo keeps possession - new shot clock.
14:01 - Shoulder save by Miller after a Bucktooth bomb from outside - the rebound bounces long, and Bucktooth brings it in. Steenhuis can’t finish, but Culp snares the loose ball. On the third chance, Buffalo capitalizes to tie the game! No one picked up Chad Culp as he burst down the heart of the Philly defense, and Culp whistled a shot over Miller’s shoulder. 8-8 tie.
12:28 - Turner’s shot isn’t close - Buffalo ball. Wray picks up a loose ball despite being decked. Westervelt’s loose ball and bouncing shot doesn’t beat Goodleaf either.
11:14 - Well done by Jeff Reynolds. The defender sprinted down the right wing in transition and fed Athan Iannucci on the opposite side of the crease for the easy finish. Pretty assist, and Iannucci made no mistake on the one-on-one. 9-8 Philadelphia.
10:22 - Steenhuis’ rip is high and wide of the right post, but Philadelphia turns it over on the next offensive trip.
9:50 - Mark Steenhuis brings Buffalo back even with a deft dish to Kelusky, who slipped the screen and took the feed before shooting low past Miller. 9-9 tie with 9:44 left. No communication between the Philadephia defenders on that screen and roll.
9:39 - Culp and Steenhuis are the only Bandits with multiple goals tonight. Steenhuis tries to pick out the upper 90 of the far post, but it’s wide again. Philly takes over.
8:38 - Chris White digs out a loose ball after Alex Turner failed to corral a pass in the near corner. Tavares bounces a shot wide, however, and Philly races back. Corbeil does a nice job to thwart David Brock’s fastbreak attempt.
7:52 - Harasym picks off Dan Hardy’s pass from behind the net. Steenhuis somehow manages to slither between two defenders, but he was too cute with his shot, which missed the near post. Still 9-9. Bucktooth scoops an open look wide of the far post, and the shot clock expires.
6:12 - Steenhuis hesitates, then rushes past his defender before slotting home inside the near post. The official has none of it, however, as he points to the crease for a violation - no goal. Britney Spears hits Bandits’ sound system, but only because she loves rock ‘n roll. Or at least claims to.
4:50 - Bucktooth hacks at the ball defensively and pushes it to Steenhuis. The opportunity passes for Buffalo, however, and Philly is back on the attack. McGlone slips free for a moment, but he’s pummeled by Self and Llord before he can do any damage. 15,344 is the announced attendance.
4:23 - I never realized the song was called “Cotton-eyed Joe” until way later than I’d like to admit. It sounds racially insensitive, anyhow.
3:40 - Miller steps to his left to deny a shot late in the shot clock. Corbeil, Self, and Hill do well defensively to win possession back. Thenhaus rounds his defender but shoots wide of the far post. Great chance squandered there. Still tied at 9.
2:44 - Chris White has a momentary look at a two-on-one with Harasym but wisely chooses to slow the tempo down. Steenhuis draws a double team and tosses cross-carpet to Kelusky, who bangs his shot off the left post.
2:04 - Over and back violation on Philadelphia. 48-33 in shots favors Buffalo. Game is still tied at 9.
1:18 - Dan Hardy pings the pipe at the other end, and the ball flies out of play. Philadelphia finds itself in front with just over a minute left, however, as Drew Westervelt tallies an acrobatic goal. Drew’s 13th of the season came when he laid out horizontally across Goodleaf’s crease and tucked the ball in back post. 10-9 Philadelphia with 1:18 to play. How he managed to avoid placing his feet in the crease is beyond me.
1:18 - I suppose it’s a little easier when you’re 6’5 like Westervelt and carrying a long stick. Buffalo must avoid the upset with a clutch goal here, or Darris will hurt someone in the press conference. I’d prefer if that person wasn’t me. The goal stands.
:45 - Francis wins a huge faceoff for Buffalo, but the Bandits can’t finish in close. Miller picks up the loose ball and calls timeout for Philly. He’s been a monster tonight.
:32 - Philadelphia controls the clock down to 16. Last chance for Buffalo to tie the game.
:10 - Quick stick at the back post briefly has Kelusky open, but Miller reacts in time to kill the opportunity. Tough loss for Buffalo on its home floor against a weaker opponent. Kudos to Brandon Miller on a tremendous performance, however, allowing only 9 goals on 52 shots.
—————————————————————————-Final, Philadelphia 10-9——————————————————————-