BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Banditland will have to wait at least one more year to see their team win its first championship since 2008 as the Bandits lost to Colorado in Saturday’s winner take all game three of the NLL finals, 10-8 in front of a sold out crowd.
The Mammoth scored just 24 seconds in but Buffalo responded by a big goal from Dhane Smith less than a minute later to tie it up. The Bandits led 3-2 at the end of the first quarter but the second is where the momentum shifted as Colorado scored five goals to take a 7-5 lead at halftime, a deficit Buffalo just couldn’t get over.
Chris Cloutier scored the third quarter’s only goal to get Buffalo within one. Then Connor Fields tied the game at 7 just 27 seconds into the fourth. But the Mammoth went on to score three straight goals to close it out. Kyle Buchanan made it 10-8 with seven seconds to go in the game but at that point Colorado sealed the win and championship.
Buffalo is still trying to get over the hump after losing for the third time in six years in the finals. The Bandits were swept in 2016 and 2019 but this time lost the series 2-1.
In addition to giving up five goals in the second quarter, the Bandits ran into a hot goaltender as the Mammoth’s Dillion Ward made some incredible saves. He was named the game’s first star after stopping 55 of Buffalo’s 63 shots.
Silver Creek High School graduate Zed Williams had a huge game for Colorado with four goals and seven points on his way to winning the NLL title. He was named the game’s second star.
Kyle Buchanan ended with a Bandits team-high three goals and finished tied with Josh Byrne with four points.