Tonawanda News — The Buffalo Bandits found out why the Rochester Knighthawks sport the top defense in the National Lacrosse League.
The Knighthawks tied the Bandits for second in the East Division with a 15-7, wire-to-wire win at First Niagara Center on Saturday night.
Matt Vinc was outstanding in net for Rochester (3-3), which allows a league-low 10.2 goals per game. Buffalo (3-3) peppered Vinc all night, finishing with 61 shots, but was unable to finish the way the Knighthawks were. Before being pulled with 4:19 remaining with the game being out of reach, Vinc made 49 saves on 56 shots.
“Our ‘D’ has been working hard these two nights,” Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen said in reference to the team’s 20-10 win Friday in Philadelphia as well as last night. “They’re not all necessarily quality shots on (Vinc), which is the way we like it. We’re putting them in the right spots to allow (Vinc) to make that save for us.”
Vinc attributed much of his performance to Rochester’s back door’s effort.
“I had a lot of clear looks,” Vinc said, who had 32 saves in the first half alone. “Our guys did a great job of cleaning up a lot of loose balls. (The Bandits) are a pretty good team at picking up those and getting those second opportunities.”
Though the Bandits held the edge in shots, 61-48, many of their chances were from far out. And with their power play going 0-for-6 — Rochester was 3-of-5 with the man up — the Bandits failed to capitalize on the opportunities they did have to get back in the game.
“It’s a matter of execution. We didn’t execute on defense tonight, we didn’t execute on offense tonight,” Bandits head coach Darris Kilgour said. “Man short, once again, was not very good, power play was not very good. When you get outplayed that badly in so many areas of the game, that’s the kind of game you’re going to end up with.”