Buffalo slips past Thunder in 4th period Late goals by Phair, Tavares pace 18-16 win


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It took one rookie and one veteran to pull things together for the Buffalo Bandits, who defeated the Baltimore Thunder, 18-16, on three fourth-quarter goals last night in a Major Indoor Lacrosse League game.

Rookie Tom Phair, from the University of Delaware, scored two of the goals, and veteran John Tavares had the other to finish off 88TC game that featured highs and lows for the Thunder (1-2).

With the game tied at 15 at the beginning of the final period, Phair opened things up by scoring on an assist from Mike Hasen. Then, at the 6:48 mark, Phair made it 17-15 when he took a pass from Tavares and scored on a breakaway.

"My role is in the defensive end," said Phair, "but you have to be aware of every situation. I was just working hard and the opportunity presented itself. [On the second goal], the guy was looking for a cross check and the ball popped out and off I went."

After Phair's second goal, the Thunder got one back on a score by Tim Hormes, who finished with five goals. But Buffalo (2-0) iced the victory when Tavares scored with eight seconds left while the Thunder was on a power play.

"I think we came into this game thinking run-and-gun," said Tavares, who finished with five goals and four assists. "When we do that, it's a fine excuse for guys to hog it and try and boost their totals. We got caught up in that and taking bad penalties."

Although the Bandits were called for 12 penalties for 33 minutes, the Thunder did not take advantage.

One time was on the final goal. Another came in the second period when the Bandits were two men short, and the Thunder failed to score.

Buffalo scored five straight goals to start the game. Then, with Buffalo leading 6-2, Baltimore got consecutive goals by Hormes, Rob Shek, Rob Williams, Tim Welsh and Todd Curry. Welsh and Curry's goals came on power plays.

With the score 7-6, the teams traded goals, then Buffalo got five more and led at the half 13-10.

Bob Watson, who started in goal in the second half, gave the Thunder a lift and the game was tied 13-13 after goals by Mark Millon, Brian Kroneberger and Chris Gill.

The teams traded goals again -- one for the Bandits by Tavares and one for the Thunder by Cantabene -- followed by goals by Hormes and Brian Hall to tie the game again heading into the final period.

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