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Bandits lose decisive Game 3 in NLL finals

The Bandits squared off with Colorado in game 3 of the NLL finals inside a sold out KeyBank Center.
Credit: AP
Buffalo Bandits players watch from the bench late in the second half of Game 2 of the National Lacrosse League finals against the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, June 11, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bandits certainly had significant home-field advantage, but for the second game in a row, Buffalo's offense did not step up when needed while goaltending allowed several weak first half goals.

Buffalo lost 10-8 in the National Lacrosse League finals to Colorado.

More than 19,000 fans were in attendance for Saturday night's Bandits-Mammoth NLL championship finale.

In the first quarter, 24 seconds into the game, Colorado quieted a very loud crowd by scoring on their first shot giving the Mammoth a 1-0 lead. 

Less than two minutes later, Dhane Smith tied it up for Buffalo. Moments later, Josh Byrne made it 2-1 Bandits.

Later in the first, Ian Mackay put home a rebound to give Buffalo a 3-1 lead. 

Colorado would get back within 1, Zed Williams scored his 2nd of the quarter for Colorado.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott was in attendance, which hyped up Banditland early on in this one.

In the second quarter, 36 seconds in, Colorado ties it up at 3, during the celebration both teams started to get extra aggressive which required the ref to step in. 

A few seconds later, the Mammoth took the lead 4-3. Colorado scored four goals on just seven shots, but the Bandits quickly responded with a beautiful back-door goal by Kyle Buchanan to tie things at 4.

Buffalo struggled to get the offense going while Matt Vinc did not have a strong opening half. Colorado scored seven goals on just its first 15 shots and led 7-5 at the break. 

In the third quarter, the Bandits got back within one. Chris Cloutier capitalized on a power play, making it 7-6 Mammoth midway through the period. 

Buffalo did much better in the third on defense and goaltending, shutting out Colorado in the period. The Mammoth took a one-goal lead into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the first minute in, Dhane Smith set up Connor Fields for the Bandits' seventh goal of the night, tying things up.

With 11:46 to go, Colorado regained the lead off of a Zed Williams snipe, making it 8-7 Mammoth. Moments later Colorado jumped ahead 9-7.

Mammoth finish it off with an empty net goal to win 10-8.

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