Bandits vs. Knighthawks live-blog
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • January 21, 2012 @ 7:53pm
———————End of Game, 12-9 Buffalo—————-
:47—The Rochester fans are slowly filing out with glum looks. Timeout on the floor by Rochester.
1:29 —Kick save by Thompson on a grass-muncher by Jamieson, who gets his own loose ball and whips another one that nearly trickled past Thompson. Under one minute to go, and Buffalo can run more clock.
2:30—Accursi launches a shot from the left wing, and it caroms off the side of the cage. Chris White of Buffalo picks up the ball for a moment, and there’s a small scuffle that’s separated by the referees. The ball is awarded to Buffalo, judging by the boos from the Rochester fans.
3:27—Smith, Self, Priolo and White are the four Bandit penalty-killers on the floor. Only a matter of time until Rochester pulls Vinc in favor of an extra attacker, I think. Great check by Chris White forces a turnover. Tracey Kelusky runs down an errant pass and wastes some of the clock.
3:49—12-9 Bandits after the Rochester goal, and the Knighthawks have some momentum. Workmanlike effort through traffic by K-Hawks forward Cory Vitarelli, and he’s finally pinned to the ground by Jimmy Purves. That’s unfortunately a penalty, however, and Buffalo will be shorthanded, leading only by three.
4:32 —Rochester scores only forty seconds after, however, as Jamieson unleashes a missile that beat Thompson to the near post. There’s no question that Jamieson is one of the game’s premier young players, as he’s really long and possesses a howitzer of a shot.
5:19—Ian Llord with an impressive defensive play on a one-on-one with Pat McCready. McCready faked a shot and hesitated, but Llord wasn’t fooled and blocked another shot with his body. A big moment for the Bandits’ defense.
6:30 —Credit Buffalo’s offense for being more active early in the fourth quarter. On a delayed penalty, Jordan Hall sneaks a shot toward the near post, but it’s wide—Rochester keeps the ball, however, and rookie Johnny Powless brings the Knighthawks back within four. 12-8 Bandits.
7:37—Four unanswered goals by the Bandits, and Rochester’s defenders have been too slow to react to cutters, losing sight of Bandit attackers in front of Vyse. Pat McCready is in the box for Rochester at the most inopportune time for the home team.
8:12 —Roger Vyse nets his second goal in three minutes, and Matt Vinc is starting to unravel. Tavares found Vyse camped to the right of the goal, and #81 whipped a shot over Vinc’s vulnerable left shoulder. 12-7 Buffalo, and now there’s a penalty coming up on the Knighthawks.
8:44—Absurdly athletic, highlight reel goal by Chad Culp, who took a high-arching rebound in front of Vinc’s goal and quick-sticked it out of mid-air. Great reaction time by the hard-working forward after Tavares’ initial shot. 11-7 Buffalo!
9:21 —Vitarelli hammers a shot at Thompson’s chest—Rochester has wasted too many possessions with inaccurate shots straight at the goalie.
10:26 —An uncovered Jamieson uncorks a shot that hits Thompson in the chest. Steenhuis, at the other end, snaps a pass from his favored left side to a cutting Roger Vyse, who fakes a shot and then beats Vinc high over his left shoulder. 10-7 Buffalo, and the momentum has sharply swung in the visitor’s favor.
11:26—Buffalo with a fortuitous power play, as Cory Vitarelli found himself in the box for a too-many-men offense. John Tavares responded almost immediately, with a blast from the right point that Vinc never saw until it was too late. Tavares is a master at using the defender in front of him as a screen. 9-7 Bandits!
11:58—8-7 Buffalo. Kelusky’s screen and roll feed to Steenhuis is too far for his intended target. Rochester tries to force another transition attempt, however, and that leads to another turnover. The game is much faster, but also much more frenetic with the rule changes.
13:17—Rochester cuts the margin back to one, however, as Stephen Keogh always seems to have an answer. Great pass by Jordan Hall at the point to find the rookie quickly, and Keogh made absolutely no mistake with his shot.
14:14—Big save initially by Vinc on Tavares, but the NLL legend persists with another shot from the same spot—Vinc is helpless on this one. 8-6 Buffalo, and the two-goal cushion is welcomed.
15:00—52 seconds remain in the Kirk penalty, and it’d be huge if Buffalo could push its lead to two early in the final stanza.
——————End of Third Quarter, 7-6 Buffalo—————
1:25—Steenhuis gets a semi-breakaway but can’t beat Vinc to the far left post, and Buffalo draws a delayed penalty seconds later. Mike Kirk is the guilty party, as he hauled down Steenhuis by the neck after the floppy-haired #9 beat him cleanly to the outside. Tavares snaps a shot just wide of the back post after the D sloughs off of him again.
2:47—Kedoh Hill’s shot from 20 feet hits Thompson square in the chest again. Buffalo takes the lead again at 7-6 after a nifty away-from-the-ball cut by Chad Culp and a pinpoint feed from Jeremy Thompson. Culp maneuvered in front of the crease and left his feet before depositing a shot inside the opposite post. 7-6 Bandits.
3:50—Jeremy Thompson and Scott Self were awarded the assists on Tavares’ goal. Kelusky’s shot is blocked by Chris Schiller’s who’s off to the races—Travis Hill winds up with the chance at the left post for Rochester, but Thompson kicks it away. Crease violation on Rochester on the rebound. Bad turnover on an outlet pass, however, and it’s back to Rochester.
4:26—Five goals through the first 10 minutes of the second half, and they tend to come in flurries. There’s chatter between Harasym and Jamieson, and both are ushered to the box. That’s a trade-off that the Bandits will more than willingly accept.
4:42—John Tavares’ heater from 15 feet away is too hot for Vinc to handle, as the 43-year-old’s blistering shot skipped under Vinc’s pads and tied the game at 6.
5:07—Rochester takes its first lead of the evening on a goal from Mike Accursi! The veteran sprinted down the heart of the Buffalo defense, received a perfect feed and beat Thompson low to the glove side. 6-5 Rochester.
6:05—Johnny Powless snaps a shot that’s saved by Mikey Thompson. 34-23 is the lead in shots for Buffalo. Buffalo rookie Jeff Cornwall plants Powless into the turf to stop another chance.
6:53—Twisting shot by Wiles off a feed from Steenhuis is saved rather easily by Vinc, but Keogh’s attempt on the right side of the crease at the other end is foiled by Thompson. We’ve returned to the same grind-it-out low-percentage chance style that marked most of the first half. Stephen Keogh and Steve Priolo head to the box for off-setting minor penalties.
8:29—Steenhuis slows down the pace on the left wing. No-look pass to Purves leads to a good chance at the back post, but McCready clobbered the transition player as he received the ball. Good idea by Steenhuis, but Purves failed to hold his ground.
9:08—Acrobatic attempt by Buchanan is saved easily, and Vyse tries to shield his defender off with his body and shoot on target, but he ruined his shooting angle by getting too close to Vinc. Good perimeter defense by Jimmy Purves leads to a shot-clock violation on Rochester.
9:50 —The home crowd erupts as Rochester knots the score at 5. A blast from the point by Jordan Hall beat Thompson to the near post—it was a missile. 5-5 tie.
11:18—Kelusky tries to force a pass through traffic, and it’s picked off—Brad Self sprints down the floor by lasers a shot wide of the target. Vyse whips another from either farther out, and it nearly starts a fast-break chance for Pat McCready, who can’t quite run the outlet down. Scott Campbell of Rochester tramples Tavares in the corner, leading to a Buffalo turnover.
11:58—A cannon from the left point by Vyse sails into the goalie’s stick. Good pass through traffic by Jeremy Thompson to set up the chance, however.
12:38—Cody Jamieson responds immediately to Buffalo’s goal with a rifle of his own from just inside the restraining line that split the wickets of Thompson. Rochester wins another face-off promptly after—it’s now 5-4 Buffalo.
13:38—Vinc dives to his left to foil Wiles’ outside shot, but Buffalo retains possession. Luke Wiles tallies his first of the night for Buffalo on the second chance! A fine shot from the left point beat Vinc low. 5-3 Buffalo!
15:00—Buchanan fires well wide of the target on Buffalo’s first possession. Kelusky’s behind the back shot with two on the shot clock rolls into the corner. Jarrett Davis of Rochester shoots over the target on a back-post quick stick after a feed from Vitarelli.
Halftime—Box lacrosse is a crazy sport—two goals were scored between the two teams in the first 26 minutes of the game, and then a flurry of five goals were slotted in the ensuing two minutes.
———————Halftime, 4-3 Buffalo———————
:01—Mike Kirk heads to the box for Rochester, but Buffalo loses Mat Giles and Chad Culp to the sin-bin as well. A huge cluster of activity in front of Vinc’s net, and the officials are still sorting out the calls. Culp gets two for roughing, and so does Giles.
:15—Tracey Kelusky forces a low-percentage shot, but Buffalo’s forwards do a nice job fore-checking, forcing a desperation pass out of the zone that’s run down by Billy Dee Smith. Timeout Buffalo, and the goalie is pulled for the final shot of the half.
2:07 —Fine use of a pair of screens by Jamieson—on the next play, Keogh lurks on the perimeter and snaps a shot that Thompson saves with his shoulder. Keogh has another chance immediately after, and he squanders it. Cheating on the fast-break, Mark Steenhuis reels in a pass on the left wing and scoots a shot underneath the arm of Vinc. 4-3 Bandits!
2:40—I can’t keep up. Rochester knots the score at three on a hummer from Cody Jamieson that beat Mike Thompson to the short side. 3-3 tie.
3:01—Now the goals are flying in steadily. John Tavares winds and fires a shot on goal after no Knighthawk chose to step out on him—he snaps the twine over Vinc’s left shoulder again. 3-2 Buffalo!
3:34—Rochester answers back immediately, however, behind a goal from Alex Kedoh Hill on a cut—good find by Jordan Hall.
3:54—Biding his time on the left wing, Steenhuis flashes inside of his defender and snaps a shot over Vinc’s left shoulder! 2-1 Buffalo.
4:43—Self, Sweeney, White, Llord and Priolo in on this defensive series for Buffalo. The crowd gets briefly excited over a little Rihanna over the speakers. Sal Maiorana of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle is pacing around the press box. Unbelievable save by Vinc on Steenhuis point blank, sliding to his right and punching it aside with his glove.
5:54—There’ve been a few too many scoring attempts tonight by Giles and Jimmy Purves—here’s a two-on-one break for Rochester’s Tyler Burton, and he’s stuffed by an on-fire Mike Thompson. Frankly, two Rochester defenders bearing down on a fast break isn’t the scariest thing Thompson’s faced. Harasym laces a shot off Vinc’s chest again, and now Tracey Kelusky is in a shoving match in the corner.
7:13—Rochester’s Jarrett Davis has a glimmer of a chance for a breakaway, but he sees Billy Dee Smith come off the Bandit bench and immediately turns around to regroup. I’d make the same decision, personally. You don’t understand just how big Smith is until you stand next to him, which I was pre-game. He might be twice as thick as I am.
8:26 —Bandits’ defender Scott Self gets the best of Cory Vitarelli, who then cherry-picks and receives a long outlet pass from his goalie. The Rochester attacker picks out the left post, but he flings it just wide. Unbelievably, it’s still 1-1.
8:57—Two minutes remain on the Glaves penalty. There’s a dubious holding call on the Bandits, and Kyle Sweeney trots to the box. Buffalo can’t muster any serious offense on the five minute power play that ends prematurely.
10:14—Some vicious slashes inside by Kyle Laverty, but the Bandits aren’t incited into a fight. Jimmy Purves picks Jordan Hall’s pocket and burns rubber the other way—his behind the back shot bounces wide of the left post. Great defensive play by Purves. Buffalo keeps possession, and Kevin Buchanan fires a shot from just inside the right dot—saved again by the impenetrable Vinc.
11:13 —Wiles slings a shot right at Vinc’s chest after Johnny Tavares is hammered to the floor by the Knighthawks’ Travis Hill, who seemingly has been everywhere tonight. Jamieson catches a pass in traffic, but he’s immediately hounded by Jeff Cornwall.
12:30—Jordan Hall’s pass eludes Rochester rookie Stephen Keogh, and it’s Buffalo’s ball. Vyse is pounded in the chest by Rochester defender Rory Glaves, but the Bandits recover the loose ball and a penalty is called on Glaves. Knighthawks will be short-handed for five minutes—illegal cross-checking.
13:27—Steenhuis tries a cross-carpet pass to Giles, but it caroms off his stick. Giles tries a shot through traffic, then Kelusky flings a shot at Vinc’s chest. No real sound scoring chances on that trip for Buffalo.
14:44—Purves takes the brunt of Jamieson’s shot from the point. Good defensive play to challenge the shot. Pretty save by Vinc on a missile from the point by Chad Culp, and the PA announcer quips, “In’Vinc’ible.”
15:00—The Knighthawks’ dance team is the “Nightingales?” Clever?
———————-End of First Quarter, 1-1 tie——————-
:05—No good scoring chances come of the extra attacker, though, and the low-scoring first quarter comes to a close.
:14—Steenhuis flips a pass back to Wiles at the point, and the newcomer takes his eye off the ball and it rolls under his stick. Fortunately, the two attackers fly back on defense, negating a scoring chance by Rochester’s Travis Hill. Timeout, Knighthawks, and they’ll set up for the final shot of the first quarter with the extra attacker.
1:41—Two solid chances out of transition by Jeremy Thompson—Vinc kicked the first one out with his right foot, then blocked the rebound with his chest. Kelusky flips a pass up the floor with two on the shot clock, briefly giving the Hawks an opportunity for a run out. They squander the chance, however.
2:43—Vitarelli tries a wrap-around on Thompson at the other end of the crease, but Buffalo’s veteran goalie isn’t surprised by it. Wiles’ skip pass to Tavares eludes the 43-year-old, and that’s another quick turnover.
3:45—Fine save by Matt Vinc on Kelusky’s long shot—a good job by the keeper to plug the five-hole. Steenhuis’ deflected shot causes Vinc to briefly lose sight of the ball, but it floats over.
4:27—Rochester’s Jamieson will bring the ball up into the attacking zone from midfield. Rochester ties the game quickly with the man advantage—Stephen Keogh slipped past Buffalo’s Scott Self and hummed a shot over Mike Thompson’s left shoulder. 1-1 tie.
4:48—A blast from Keogh is on goal, but it’s right at Thompson’s stomach—there’s a delayed penalty on Buffalo’s Jimmy Purves, however, and it appears to be a delay-of-game.
6:25—Rochester’s Vitarelli misses a gimme at the back post for Rochester, whistling his shot over the crossbar. Scott Campbell fights for a loose ball in front of the Buffalo net, and it’s ruled in favor of the Bandits. Kevin Buchanan’s pass sails right past Roger Vyse’s stick and down the field—turnover.
8:33—Near breakaway for Jeremy Thompson, and Mark Steenhuis has another long pass fall just beyond his reach. Billy Dee does a nice job to tangle up Stephen Keogh on a screen-and-roll. Buffalo ball, but the physical Sid Smith clobbers Luke Wiles and forces a turnover. Still 1-0 Buffalo.
9:53—Rochester’s Sid Smith with a nice defensive play to intercept a pass intended for Mat Giles. Accursi’s shot from a bad angle is easily corralled by Mike Thompson.
10:03—Rochester’s Travis Hall was beaten badly by Wiles’ baseline move on the goal. Collisions in front of the Buffalo goal, and there’s a stoppage in play. Buffalo’s ball with a fresh shot clock.
11:08 —Powerful check by Billy Dee puts him briefly out of position, but a forced pass inside is deflected away. Luke Wiles puts Buffalo on the board with a diagonal run across the goalmouth and a poised finish inside the far post. 1-0 Bandits!
12:02—Vinc confidently saves Tavares’ shot from the point, and the outlet pass finds Accursi—he shoots against his body on the breakaway, and it bounces wide. Still no score.
12:44—Mat Giles misses two chances, and then Luke Wiles has his shot partially blocked by a Knighthawk defender. 25 ticks left on the power play, and Rochester can run it out.
13:58—Two minute penalty on Rochester, and the ‘Hawks are victims of the new rules. An infraction was called on Rochester, and instead of Cody Jamieson putting the ball directly to the turf, he skimmed it toward the benches. Power play, Buffalo!
15:00—Thompson loses the opening face-off to Travis Hill, but there’s a loose ball in the corner and Chris White recovers. Culp has a pass picked off, but Buchanan runs down the loose ball. Culp is checked by two defenders, and then Mike Kirk plants a Bandit into the boards. Rochester ball.
15:00—Set for face-off now after a brief program where the Knighthawks honored their 2010-11 team award winners. Bandits are wearing their road black jerseys with orange numbers and white names. Knighthawks sport their white jerseys with teal trim and teal numbers.
Pre-game—Loudest ovations for Matt Vinc and Cody Jamieson of Rochester. More chants of “Let’s go Bandits” after the starting lineups were announced. Great back-and-forth between the two fan-bases.
Pre-game—The noise around the arena becomes when confusing of “Let’s go Bandits” and Let’s go Hawks” are chanted at the same time. Sounds roughly like “Let’s go Bawks.” (Sounds much better than “Handits.”)
Pre-game—With Francis out of the lineup, expect to see Jeremy Thompson take the lion’s share of the faceoffs. Kilgour’s mentioned on several occasions that the Bandits’ first round pick’s value lies in more than just speed. The Knighthawks lost more face-offs than they won against Philadelphia, they simply didn’t miss on their scoring chances.
Pre-game—Rochester’s dance team shows considerably more skin than the Bandits’. Food for thought.
Pre-game—Quite the butchering of “Resetarits” by the Rochester PA announcer. Surprising to see Montour as a healthy scratch again—particularly with Jimmy Purves and Kyle Sweeney seeing action over him. Are the Bandits covering up an injury, or has #63 fallen out of favor with head coach Darris Kilgour? Rumors swirled before the season that Montour was in danger of not making the final roster.
Pre-game—Billy Dee Smith and Chris White, the Bandits’ top two defenders, will have the tall task of clamping down on the Knighthawks’ versatile attack. Former All-Rookie Team selection Cody Jamieson, one of the league’s brightest stars, pairs with upstarts like rookies Johnny Powless, Stephen Keogh and suddenly-hot Cory Vitarelli (five goals vs. Philly) in peppering opposing goalies.
Pre-game —Former Bandit Mike Accursi faces his old mates tonight, and he’s on fire to start the season—three goals and seven assists in the white-washing of the Wings.
Pre-game—Lots of small blocks of orange in the stands already—we ran into a number of Bandits’ fans at Dinosaur BBQ before the game. Delicious ribs, by the way.
Pre-game—Inactives for tonight: Rochester sits 10th overall pick Joel White, forward Joe Walters and defender Dylan Evans. For Buffalo, Brandon Francis, Tom Montour and Frank Resetarits are inactive. Essentially, Roger Vyse has replaced Francis in the lineup from the opener. Both teams’ starting goalies—the K-hawks’ Matt Vinc and Buffalo’s Mike Thompson—will guard the nets.
Pre-game—You may be familiar with the early drama in the NLL season through the goalie fight between Rochester and Philadelphia last week—you can see video from Deadspin here.
Pre-game—Coming off a defeat of defending champions Toronto, the Buffalo Bandits hit the road tonight for a contest against the Rochester Knighthawks. Rochester won its opening game 22-12 against the Philadelphia Wings.