Bandits race past Thunder, 23-13


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bandits scored nine straight goals en route to a 23-13 victory over the Baltimore Thunder last night in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League.

After falling behind early to the defending champion Bandits, the Thunder roared back for six straight goals in 2:32 to catch the Bandits on their heels. Three of the first Baltimore goals were unassisted.

Tony Millon started the Thunder attack with 9:05 left, followed by Jeff Jackson at 8:33, Tim Welsh at 8:26 and Jackson, assisted by Jim Blanding at 7:23 to make it 4-2.

Baltimore's John Tucker and Matt Kerwick added goals, and Buffalo pulled starting goalie Bill Gerrie for Ross Cowie. It was the first action for Cowie this season.

That move seemed to wake up the Bandits, who finished the first quarter with two straight goals by John Tavares and Darris Kilgour. Baltimore's Brian Kroneberger scored to open the second quarter.

The Bandits scored nine straight goals to take a 13-7 lead at the intermission.

Tavares and Kevin Alexander added two goals each for the Bandits.

In the third quarter, Tavares scored an unassisted goal to make it 14-7.

Baltimore got a goal at 9:51 by Tom Stanziale on an assist from Tucker and Rick Sowell. It was Sowell's first point of the game.

But Buffalo came back with goals by Alexander and Keenan to make it 16-8.

The Thunder got two straight goals by Welsh to end the third quarter but still trailed by six.

The Thunder also had two goals in the first three quarters nullified by crease violations.

An early goal in the fourth quarter narrowed the Bandits advantage to five.

Tavares and Kilgour scored two quick goals, making it 18-11 before Baltimore got one back as the teams swaped scores for nTC the next few minutes.

Buffalo finished the game with three straight goals for the final 10-goal margin.

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed some 20 minutes while the championship banner was unfurled and the Bandits were given their championship rings. . . . Each team had one player missing, Butch Marino for Baltimore and Troy Cordingly for Buffalo. They were suspended for one game for fighting last week.

Thunder 6 1 3 3 -- 13

Buffalo 4 9 3 7 -- 23

Goals: Balt -- Jackson 2, Tucker, Kerwick, Millon, Blanding, Britton, T.Welsh 3, Kronenberger, Stanziale, Johnson. Buff -- . Lay 3, Tavares 6, Burnam, J. Bissell, Alexander 3, Hamley 3, Veltman, Aird, D.Kilgour 2, Keenan 2.

Assists: Balt -- Jackson 2, Tucker, Sowell 2, T.Millon, Angotti 2, Fried, J. Blanding 2, T. Welsh 2, B. Kronenberger. Buff -- Lay, Tavares, Burnam, Meagher, Alexander 2, Hamley 3, Veltman 6, Aird 4, D. Kilgour, Keenan 2, R. Kilgour 3, Hall.

A: 16,325.

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