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Bandits return to the postseason after 3-year COVID delay

The Bandits head into the postseason with home-field advantage and the No. 1 seed.
Credit: BUFFALO BANDITS

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Ask anyone in the Buffalo Bandits organization and they will tell you, the playoffs have been long awaited, and it's not because of performance but because of COVID. 

The Bandits haven't played a postseason game since 2019, a year where they lost in the finals to Calgary. Since then, the league hasn't been able to play a full season because of the pandemic. But that ends now.

This week Buffalo begins their postseason journey looking for their first NLL title since 2008. 

2 On Your Side's Brian Chojnacki went one-on-one with Josh Byrne and head coach John Tavares this week. Brian asked Josh, "Add in that you've had to wait three years, out of your control you couldn't make the playoffs because you couldn't play. Does that add extra excitement going into the weekend?"

Josh replied, "100 percent, the other part about it is Bandit land is rocking at full capacity right now, so, obviously being three years out and Bandit land being 100 percent, it will be a lot of fun man I can't wait to get on the floor."

Josh is right, Bandit fans are no joke. Buffalo currently leads the NLL in attendance with over 9,000 fans per game. 

Brian asked coach about the team locking up home-field advantage and getting the chance to play in Buffalo throughout the playoffs. 

Coach John Tavares said, "It's great playing in Buffalo. I know every team says we have the greatest fans in the league, but we do have the greatest fans in the league. And they are very supportive. For so many years, we have so many devoted fans, they are a very big part of our organization. Playing in front of your crowd is like having that extra player on the floor with you." said Coach.

It's win or go home in front of the home crowd as the Bandits host Albany Saturday night at 7 30 pm. Buffalo has home field advantage throughout the playoffs this year.

One other worthy note, Albany forward and Hamburg native Joe Resetarits will be looking to eliminate his hometown club on Saturday. Resetarits finished third in the league in overall points with 111. 

Coach Tavares recognizes in order to win they need to contain Resetaris. "Resetaris is having a phenomenal year and we have to find a way to shut him down." said Coach.

The first round matchup between the Bandits and Firewolves will be streamed live on Saturday at 7:30 pm on ESPN+.