Game Preview

Black Wolves Fall To Bandits

Buffalo – The New England Black Wolves were eliminated from the National Lacrosse League playoffs on Saturday night, falling 20-15 to the top-seeded Buffalo Bandits in Game 2 of the East Division Championship series at First Niagara Center.

Buffalo scored 11 seconds into the game, and was up 2-0 just over two minutes into the game, but the Black Wolves rallied.

Kevin Buchanan, who finished with six goals and an assist on the night, picked up his first in the midst of a stretch that saw New England score four straight and five of six goals to take a 5-3 lead after one quarter. The Bandits tied the game at 5-5 early in the second quarter, but New England answered with four of the next five goals to make it 9-6 midway through the second quarter.

The game was tied 9-9 at the half, but the Black Wolves continued to answer Bandit goals. Three different times in the third quarter, Buchanan scored to tie the game and Sheldon Burns also had a short-handed goal as the teams deadlocked at 10-10, 11-11, 12-12 and 13-13 before a goal by Anthony Malcom made it 14-13 after three quarters.

The Bandits opened the fourth quarter with another goal to make it 15-13, and Buchanan brought the Black Wolves to within 15-14 with just over seven minutes left. That was as close as New England got the rest of the way.

Buffalo scored five of the last six goals to close out the victory.

Shawn Evans (two goals, four assists), Kevin Crowley (two goals, two assists), and Pat Saunders (two goals) all had multiple goals for New England. Jordan Hall had four assists.

Dhane Smith led the Bandits with four goals and five assists. Ryan Benesch (three goals, four assists), Mark Steenhuis (three goals, two assists) and Chad Culp (three goals, one assist) also contributed.