BUFFALO, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany FireWolves (#4) were defeated by the Buffalo Bandits (#1), 10-5, at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo on Saturday evening. It was a defensive battle the whole way, with Buffalo taking the lead early in the third quarter and never looking back. Full statistics from tonight’s game can be found here: https://albanyfirewolves.com/game/1603/.
|SCORE BY QUARTER||1||2||3||4||FINAL|
The FireWolves controlled the game’s opening faceoff but came up empty on their first possession. After nearly 10 minutes of action, Reilly O’Connor beat Matt Vinc to get Albany on the board first. Buffalo wasted no time getting the goal back as Dhane Smith fired in his first of the night. Neither team was able to score for the remainder of the quarter as the game was tied at one goal apiece heading into the second.
Following another brief scoring drought by both sides, Joe Resetarits buried his first of the contest to regain the lead for Albany. After nearly the duration of the second quarter with no goals, Ian MacKay was able to tie the game at two with just under two minutes to go in the half. Once again, neither team scored before the end of the quarter as the game was tied at two heading into the halftime break.
On Buffalo’s first possession of the second half, Smith caught a pass over the middle and beat Doug Jamieson to give the Bandits the lead. Less than a minute later, Josh Byrne scored another for Buffalo to give them a two-goal lead early in the third period. Jacob Ruest added his name to the stat sheet as he fired a missile in over the middle to get one back for Albany. With just under seven to play in the quarter, Byrne scored his second as he beat Jamieson low on his far side. On Albany’s ensuing possession, Charlie Kitchen hit O’Connor in the middle of the floor who buried his second goal of the night. After a FireWolves penalty, Connor Fields was able to take advantage and push Buffalo’s lead to 6-4. Albany was unable to score with the final possession in the quarter as Buffalo held onto a two-goal lead.
Just over a minute into the fourth quarter, Chris Cloutier added another for Buffalo to extend the lead to three goals. After a long scoring drought, Colton Watkinson caught a pass in transition and was able to beat Vinc to cut the deficit to two with less than five minutes to play. With two and a half minutes to play, Fields scored his second of the game to push the Buffalo lead to 8-5. With the FireWolves net empty, Frank Brown added another for the Bandits with less than two minutes to go. With just a minute left, Priolo added another for Buffalo as he scored in the empty Albany net. Albany was unable to score on their final possession as the Bandits were victorious at home, 10-5, and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.