Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Bandettes at the NLL East Finals

After last week's big win in the 1st round of the playoffs, the Buffalo Bandits returned home for the 1st game in the NLL East Finals against the Rochester Knighthawks. Neither team had the upper hand for long during the bulk of the game as whenever one team would take the lead, the other would come back to overtake them. That changed in the 4th quarter however as, after Rochester took their final lead of the game halfway through the period, the Bandits put in 5 straight goals to take the opening game in the series by a score of 12-8. After the 8-game losing streak to end the regular season, even last week's big win had many fans less than confident about the team's chances in the playoffs. Thankfully, behind outstanding goaltending by Anthony Cosmo and the leadership of the legendary Johnny Tavares, the Bandits rewarded the more faithful fans with an exciting game that included 4 goals from Tavares and from Steenhuis as well as a hat trick from 2nd year star Dhane Smith. Next week, the Bandits head to Rochester for the 2nd part of the NLL East Finals. Should the Knighthawks win, the series goes to a 10-minute mini-game following the 2nd game to decide who advances to the NLL Finals against either the Edmonton Rush or the Calgary Roughnecks.
After getting to the arena, I caught up with MaKenzie and Stephanie real briefly before heading up to the 100 level. LB's line was pretty busy with a long line of fans at the top of the east bank of escalators so after talking to Erin and Jessica, I headed over to the west end where Kirsten's line had a pretty good amount of fans as well.
Kirsten's line signing autographs
Once the autograph sessions were over, my buddy (a Knighthawks fan) and I headed to our seats for the game. It's kinda different having someone rooting for the opposing team with you but if both are good sports about the game, it works out pretty well. It wasn't long before the squad came out to pose for photos and to perform.
LB, Stephanie, and Mandy
They even visited with some young fans who had come by to see their idols. The Bandettes hold a pretty high status with the Bandits fans of all ages for their beauty and personalities. I think LB and Stephanie, who went out of their way to visit with a few fans, were even more excited to see them than their fans were to see them.
LB and Stephanie visiting some young fans
Mandy, Chelsea, Chrissy, Kirsten, Kelsey, Jessica, and Amanda
MaKenzie and Chelsea
Kirsten's line cheering on a goal
Mandy and Chrissy
Kirsten cheering on a goal
Running this blog has definitely been an interesting experience and the best parts of it are getting to work with a group of young ladies like the Bandettes, a squad that always seems to have the best of the best and is possibly as beloved in the NLL as the DCC is in the NFL. They always get lots of attention when signing autographs and their flannel shirt-and-daisy dukes outfit, a big crowd pleaser, was adopted by the Jills in 2013. The biggest cheers for their performances on the field though, have to be when they finish off a performance by spelling out B-A-N-D-I-T-S with their pom-poms. The arena was far from full capacity but it sounded like a sell-out crowd when the Bandettes did that at the end of their 3rd quarter performance.
The Bandettes' 2 gorgeous rookies, Janelle and Mandy

Finishing off the halftime performance
Kirsten signaling for the music to start at 3rd intermission
One thing I noticed a few times during the 4th quarter was the look on LB's face. There were times it looked like she was lost in thought, like she was in a zone or something. Unless the Bandits can pull off the win next week, it was her last game and I have to admit that's saddening. There are others who will be retiring as well but considering that LB announced this would be her final season at the Open Scrimmage and how much she's grown during her time on the squad, it's going to be an adjustment for everyone although the way the squad is built, there are definitely plenty of candidates who can step up to fill her shoes.
Janelle, LB, and MaKenzie

Brianna and Danielle
Don't forget to check out the photos that the Bandits have posted at

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