Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Your 2016 Buffalo Bandettes!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Bandettes at the 2016 Buffalo Bandits Opener

It was the beginning of a new era in Banditland Saturday night as, for the 1st time in the history of the franchise, the legendary John Tavares was no longer suiting up for the team. Well, that's not exactly true as although he was no longer leading the team out on the floor, he's now in an actual suit and tie behind the bench as the team's new offensive coordinator. That being said, the Bandits will be playing homage to him all season long beyond retiring his number in a couple of months with their celebration of 25 years in existence.
Ti handing out game programs
The Bandits started off their 25th season in much the same way as they handled their 24th season, with strong defense and a tight low-scoring affair. With free agent acquisition Daryl Veltman tallying a goal against his former team and 2 goals each from stalwarts Ryan Benesch and Dhane Smith, the Bandits squeaked out a win over the visiting Calgary Roughnecks by a score of 10-9 after Dhane's game-winner with 1:10 remaining in the game.
Thanks to quick service at Washington Square, I got down to the Arena after dinner and was greeted by Jennifer and Ti, handling game program duties for the 1st hour the gates were opened up. After catching up with them briefly, it was up to the 100 level where Mandy's line was handing out Bandits schedule magnets. This is only the 2nd season the Bandits have handed those out but the Bills, who had previously handed those out every season, failed to do so in 2015. I got a chance to talk to Mandy and Amanda (a returning alum whose uncle I'm longtime friends with) real briefly before it was time to go see Stephanie's line on the other side of the escalators. Both lines were pretty busy with lots of fans but Stephanie's line was getting pulled in every direction by fans, family members, and friends excited for the rookies on the squad. One rookie who was especially excited was Karley, who was unable to dance at the Open Practice. Her excitement didn't stop in pregame as she was practically glowing all game long as she danced alongside Stephanie and the rest of her squadmates.
Sarah, Jessica, MaKenzie, Deanna, Stephanie, and Karley
Bandettes in action
Sarah clearly loves the camera almost as much as it loves her
Mandy and Angela
After the game got started and I got to catch up briefly with coach Erin, who was loving getting to spend time with her Bandettes, it was business as usual. I will always say I have the best seats in the house as I have the Bandettes dancing right beside me with MaKenzie and Angela the closest. The negative is that there is always one young lady on each line I have to work a little harder to ensure they get plenty of photos. Given the striking beauty of rookies Jessica and Ti, it's definitely worth the effort to get them on camera. One thing extra I did do at the game was to get a squad photo in their new t-shirts, both because of the t-shirts and because Jackie had been unable to make the Open Practice last month. The squad photo we have is now complete though coaxing the lovely coach Erin into a few squad photos is definitely a must.
Squad Photo!!
The gorgeous captains and co-captains Mandy, MaKenzie, Janelle, and Stephanie
Karley clearly enjoying herself and the Bandits lead
Ebony beauties Jennifer, Syidah, and Ti
Rookie beauties Deanna and Jessica
See all the pics at

Next up for the Bandettes, while the Bandits travel to Colorado next Saturday night, they all return home to the First Niagara Center on January 23rd for a big matchup against the hated Toronto Rock.

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