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Bandits turn attention to 15th season without NLL title

It's been 14 years since the Bandits won the NLL title in 2008, and this summer they'll have a lot to reflect on following a missed opportunity to win it all.
Credit: BR Live
The Bandits lose to Calgary in game two of the NLL Finals, 14-13 in overtime.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The crowd was there. The energy was there. The opportunity has come and gone. 

The Buffalo Bandits came up short this weekend as they lost 10-8 in front of a sold-out crowd at KeyBank Center on Saturday night. 

With two opportunities to close out the series, Buffalo lost back-to-back games to Colorado, losing a prime chance to win the championship series, the first time since 2008. 

Silver Creek native Zed Williams had six points Saturday night for the Mammoth, while Colorado goaltender Dillion Ward was named the National Lacrosse League finals MVP after setting a championship game record with 55 saves. 

After the loss, Bandits coach John Tavares gave Williams and Ward the credit that was well deserved, while also complimenting the season Buffalo had.

"We ran into a hot team," Tavares said. "I have to give credit to our team, they played hard all year long, they never quit. Ward had a great game and series, Zed Williams was hard to stop, and those two guys even in the fourth quarter, Ward made good saves, and Zed scored that game winning goal."

Buffalo is a city that is no stranger to playoff droughts or postseason catastrophes. After the loss, captain Steve Priolo expressed his sadness that the team couldn't pull through for the City of Buffalo.

"You saw it all year, that is a very talented group on offense, and we had two bad games, and here we are," Priolo said. "It hurts, mostly because it was in front of our fans, you feel you let the city down. It hurts that way, but yeah, we were good and bonded and had a lot of things going for us. it is what it is right now."

As far as what's next, several of the Bandits now jump right into the Premier Lacrosse League, which runs throughout the summer.

But as for the organization as whole, Buffalo will now turn its attention to the fall, as it will be 15 years since their last title when it competes next.

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