Buffalo, NY – Kyle Buchanan tied a career-high with four goals as the New England Black Wolves defeated the Buffalo Bandits 14-11 on Friday night at the KeyBank Center.
Buchanan also dished out three assists to finish with seven points. Kevin Crowley (three goals, one assist) and Shawn Evans (four assists) each had four points to help pace the offense. Zac Reid established a new career high with two goals while Sheldon Burns tied a career high with two goals.
New England (3-4) opened the scoring on a goal by Burns 4:41 into the game. Over the next four minutes, goals by Reilly O’Connor (shorthanded), Zac Reid and Crowley increased the Black Wolves advantage to 4-0. Dhane Smith scored for the Bandits (1-6) with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter, but Reid picked up his second of the night, and the season, with just 28 seconds left in the quarter to give New England a 5-1 advantage.
Burns picked up his second of the night just 10 seconds into the second quarter off a pass from former Bandit Jay Thorimbert to make it 6-1. Thorimbert and Buchanan each found the back of the net following a goal by Brad Self to put the New England advantage at 8-2 with 5:56 to play in the half. Mitch Jones scored for Buffalo, but Crowley converted on the power play to give the Black Wolves a 9-3 lead at halftime.
Crowley secured a hat trick, his fourth of the season, 3:21 into the third quarter to make it 10-3. Smith picked up two more to secure a hat trick of his own for Buffalo to cut the score to 10-5 with 7:12 remaining in the third. Buchanan picked up his second of the night for the Black Wolves just 13 second later but Kevin Brownell picked up another for Buffalo and the score stood at 11-6 at the end of three.
Kyle Buchanan found the back of the net for the third 3:09 into the final quarter to put the Black Wolves back up by six, and Ryan Hotaling scored his first of the season to increase the lead to seven at 13-6. But a four goal run by the Bandits over six minutes and 38 seconds in the middle of the fourth quarter cut the New England lead to 13-10 with 3:05 remaining.
Buchanan connected for his fourth of the night off of a pass from another former Bandit, Chad Culp, on the power play with 1:44 left in the game to give the Black Wolves a four goal cushion. Jones closed out the scoring for the Bandits with 57 seconds remaining in play.
New England had 66 shots on goal in the game, a season-high. Evan Kirk had 38 saves in the win for the Black Wolves while Anthony Cosmo took the loss after replacing Davide DiRuscio in the first quarter. Cosmo had 45 saves for the Bandits.
The two teams will close out a home-and-home weekend series at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets: bit.ly/2kAwfYR