BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Josh Byrne had six goals and three assists for the Bandits in an 11-9 win against the Georgia Swarm on Saturday night at KeyBank Center that was the team’s fourth in a row following a season-opening loss.
Bandits goaltender Matt Vinc stopped 47 of 56 shots (84%) to win his 39th game for Buffalo, second-most in franchise history.
Vinc, a former long-stick defender for Canisius College, and Georgia goalie Brett Dobson (45 saves), a rookie from St. Bonaventure, made a bit of National Lacrosse League history in their matchup. According to to veteran NLL journalist Budd Bailey, it was the first time two goalies with the same college coach — Randy Mearns, who did color commentary for the ESPN+ broadcast — faced off in a box lacrosse game.
Byrne blazed three times in the third period and twice in a span of 1:36 to give the Bandits a 9-8 lead with 21 seconds left. Many in Banditland bared their soles to commemorate the second sock trick in three games for Byrne, who has 20 goals and 17 assists this season.
Reigning league MVP Dhane Smith deposited a goal and five dimes, moving past Mark Steenhaus for second in Bandits history with 539 assists, and raising his season point total to 36.
Kyle Buchanan (two goals, two assists), Steve Priolo (one goal, two assists) and Ian McCay (one goal, one assist) also scored for the Bandits, who boast a 68-50 goal margin through the first quarter of the season.
Buffalo (4-1) plays its next three games on the road, at Rochester on Friday night, Philadelphia on Jan. 27 and New York on Jan. 28. The club returns to Banditland to face the Knighthawks and celebrate Native American Heritage Night on Feb. 4.
Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.