ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany FireWolves (3-15) were defeated by the Buffalo Bandits (14-4), 16-10, at the MVP Arena Saturday evening in their final game of the 2022-’23 season. 

It was a fast-paced, back-and-forth first half, but the Bandits grew their lead early in the third quarter and never looked back. 

Buffalo came out of the gate firing as Chase Fraser opened the scoring by bouncing one in between Doug Jamieson’s legs. Despite a Buffalo penalty, they were able to score shorthanded after Nick Weiss blocked a FireWolves shot and ran the length of the floor for a goal.  Still on a powerplay, Albany got their first on the board thanks to Ethan Walker as he beat Matt Vinc over his right shoulder.  Buffalo wasted no time getting the goal back as Kyle Buchanan cut to the front of the crease and scored from in close.  Keeping up the pace, Connor Kelly added his name to the scoresheet after finding space on the left side of the floor.  Going back and forth, Chris Cloutier went low on Jamieson to put the Bandits back up once again by two.  With just under five in the period, Kelly struck again, this time from the center of the floor.  The Bandits were unable to score after emptying the net on their final possession of the quarter and held onto a 4-3 lead heading into the second.

Kelly completed his hat trick early in the second quarter as he tied the game up at four by sneaking one past the right side of Vinc.  On the ensuing possession, Albany took the lead as Hiana Thompson fired a missile in from deep.  As the shot clock was winding down, Buffalo managed to knot the game at five as Chris Cloutier bounced one in.  The Bandits retook the lead after Fraser’s second of the night, which he rifled in from the center of the floor.  Keeping the momentum, Dhane Smith tossed pass across the floor to Cloutier who netted his second of the contest.  Quickly getting a goal back, Jake Fox caught a pass over the center before burying a nifty behind-the-back shot.  Buffalo was penalized for the second time in the first half, and once again, scored shorthanded as Josh Byrne snuck one past the left side of Jamieson.  The Bandits quickly expanded their lead to three as Ian MacKay found Byrne in transition late in the period.

Buffalo struck first in the second half as Tehoka Nanticoke was just trying to put one on net before the shot clock expired and managed to find the back of the net between Jamieson’s legs.  Growing their lead on the next possession, Fraser completed his hat trick as he came around a screen and fired one in.  Continuing to pile it on, Cloutier notched his fourth of the night as he was falling away from the net.  Adam Bomberry intercepted a pass on Albany’s next offensive possession and was able to take the ball the length of the floor to put the Bandits up 13-6.  Albany finally scored their first goal of the third period as Kelly buried his fourth goal of the night, this time on a power play. 

Following an Albany penalty early in the fourth quarter, Smith found the back of the net for the first time in the game as the Bandits doubled up the FireWolves, 14-7.  Albany also managed to net one early in the final period as Marshall Powless collected a rebound before flipping a pass to Walker who was just outside the crease for the score.  Buffalo took no time to answer as a long pass found Byrne in transition who beat Justin Geddie.  Midway through the fourth, Byrne connected with Smith who bounced one in to go up 16-8.  With five to play, Albany scored their ninth goal of the game as Thompson hit Corson Kealey who then lunged into the crease to score.  In the game’s final minute, John Piatelli spun around a defender and scored the FireWolves’ tenth of the contest.  Buffalo was nearly able to run out the clock as they held onto a 16-10 victory and clinched the top overall seed in the NLL playoffs. 

Season tickets for Albany’s 2023-24 season are on sale now!  For more information regarding season tickets, visit or call/text the FireWolves front office at 518-362-4900.