The 2010 Buffalo Bandits regular season, which started off rocky to say the least, drew to a close in an exciting fashion Saturday night as the Bandits needed a win to make the playoffs. Thanks to outstanding performances by goaltender Mike Thompson and forwards John Tavares (3 G, 4 assists), Mike Accursi (3 G, 3 assists), Mark Steenhuis (1 G, 8 assists) and Roger Vyse (3G, 2 assists), the Bandits turned in a 13-10 win over Boston, a city whose hockey team is also engaged in some action against Buffalo's own Sabres. The Bandits helped give Buffalo a 2-0 weekend over Boston, except that next weekend, after the Sabres and Bruins have finished up their NHL playoff series, Bandits fans will be rooting for the Blazers to win their game against Orlando while the Bandits handle their own business in Toronto against the Rock, a team they are 2-1 against in 2010. A Blazers win, in addition to the Bandits win, will bring the Eastern Finals back to HSBC Arena the weekend of May 7-9. After that, the Minnesota Swarm have to make it through the West for the NLL Championship to be played in Buffalo, barring any unforseen circumstances such as what happened in 2007 when the Rochester Knighthawks had to travel to Arizona for the Championship Game they were supposed to host if not for a circus scheduled at Rochester's Blue Cross Arena.
The Buffalo Bandettes have turned in outstanding performances all season long and started off their gameday with a dance clinic for dancers 16 and up where girls got to learn from the pros in order to prepare for tryouts or just to have some fun. When the gates opened at 6, the Bandettes were on hand to hand out Bandits and Bandettes posters to the incoming fans while posing for the occasional photo as well before putting on some solid performances during the game including one at the first intermission including Bandits mascot Rax and one in the 3rd intermission in which the girls sported player jerseys and drew lots of cheers spelling out Bandits with their poms. Afterwards, it was on to Pearl Street for their last regular season postgame party of the 2010 season. All but 2 of the girls were on hand as they mingled with fans and enjoyed a well-deserved dinner after all their hard work was done for the day. Buffalo Jills director Stephanie M even stopped by after enjoying the game and talked with some of the girls and posed with Jaclyn and Erin Y for a great photo.
The one negative to the night was a bit of bad news that we learned as 5th year vet and captain Meghan, whose contributions to the Buffalo Pro Cheer Blog have been a great asset, plans to retire from the squad as a dancer after the Bandits' run is over. She doesn't plan to be a stranger though, as she does intend to help out the squad a lot in the future as its been such a big part of her life the last 5 seasons.http://s17.photobucket.com/albums/b87/bandettes/2010/Blazers/
Next up for the Bandettes, they're waiting along with the rest of Banditland to see if there will be another home game in 2 weeks as everyone roots on not only Buffalo, but the same Boston team they just defeated. If they do, it will be held the weekend of May 7-9, depending partly on how the NHL playoffs schedule is for HSBC Arena. As it stands now, that entire weekend is available.