Bandits rally back to NLL finals

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Bandits’ back-to-back championship pursuit is returning to the National Lacrosse League finals.

Buffalo advanced to league title games for the 13th time in franchise history and fourth consecutive postseason, rallying in the fourth quarter to beat the Toronto Rock 10-8 on Sunday night at KeyBank Center. The Bandits’ eight straight playoff win against their rival clinched the best-of-three semifinal series, following Friday night’s 8-4 victory in Hamilton.

The reigning champion Bandits will seek their sixth title in the NLL finalsagainst Albany, which won its semifinal series against San Diego. Buffalo lost both matchups with Albany in the regular season.

Scoring six unanswered goals in an 8:10 span of the fourth quarter, the Bandits came back to win Sunday night after trailing 8-4 entering the final period.

Chase Fraser led Buffalo with three goals, scoring the tying and go-ahead tallies midway through the fourth. NLL scoring leader Josh Byrne had two goals and five assists, while co-star Dhane Smith tallied two goals and four assists.

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Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.

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