The Bandits' slow start against the team that beat them for the 2006 Championship came back to bite them as they fell behind early and never fully recovered. They did, however, give fans reason to cheer as, with 1:26 left in the game, they erased a 4-goal deficit to force OT but fell short in the extra session as the Mammoth buried a shot over goaltender Angus Goodleaf to secure the win, making the hat tricks by Mark Steenhuis, Brett Bucktooth, and Kevin Dostie into afterthoughts in the discussion of this game.
Thankfully, the Bandettes started and finished strong, back to their full squad of 13 girls with the returns of Jessica and Kirsten as they put on great performances during intermissions as well as during the game in the Zamboni entrance. They even sported some pink and black outfits in support of the NLL's efforts to "Black Out Breast Cancer" as players across the league sported pink helmets and, in some cases, even uniforms that will be auctioned off in support of the fight against Breast Cancer. Following the game, all but a pair of the girls joined the fans and players at Pearl Street Grill and Brewery to relax, sign autographs, and pose for photos. There was even a little bit of light banter between Bandettes co-captain Melissa and Bandits star Johnny Tavares. Melissa was this past week's NLL Girl of The Week and, as such, got front page billing on Bandits.com. She got bumped, however, when Tavares got awarded the NLL's Player of The Month award for March. This is one of the truly great things about the NLL, the mutual respect and camaraderie between the players and the dancers of the teams. In the NLL, the players play for the purest of reasons...the love of the game as none of them will ever get rich off of the paychecks they receive from the NLL. In the larger leagues like the NFL and NBA, this type of interaction between players and cheerleaders is rare because those players are, for the most part, less down-to-earth with all the money thrown at them in those sports.
The Bandettes will be back in action next week as the Bandits host the rival Toronto Rock at HSBC Arena Saturday night.
The final game of the regular season, on April 24th against the Boston Blazers, is preceded by a Bandettes Dance Clinic at HSBC Arena from 2-4. Open to females ages 16 and up, you will learn a Bandettes routine that has been performed at the games during the 2010 season. Whether you are interested in trying out next season or just want to come and dance for the day, this is for you!
Registration starts @ 1:30pm on the day of the event.
Cost is $20.
Please email the Bandettes @ firstname.lastname@example.org with your name to register or with further questions!