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Albany FireWolves Come Up Short Against First Place Bandits, 13-8

The Albany FireWolves (4-5) were defeated by the Buffalo Bandits (8-1), 13-8, at the KeyBank Arena in Buffalo, NY on Friday evening.  It was a game of runs with every goal of the night being scored on the same side of the floor.  Albany clawed their way back into the game by scoring seven in a row in the third, but Buffalo answered with a seven-goal run of their own to put the game away in the fourth quarter.  Full game statistics can be found here: https://www.nll.com/game/1519/.

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Joe Nardella secured the game’s opening faceoff for the FireWolves, but Albany was unable to score despite a couple shots on net.  After a defensive stand, Jacob Ruest scored the first goal of the game, giving Albany an early 1-0 lead.  After nearly 10 scoreless minutes of game action, Albany was hit with the game’s first penalty, giving Buffalo a first quarter power play.  Buffalo was unable to capitalize on the power play and were soon after penalized for two slashing fouls of their own with under two minutes in the quarter, giving Albany a four-minute man-up advantage. 

Albany remained on the power play to start the second quarter but were unable to score as the game returned to five-on-five after multiple defensive stands by Buffalo.  After five minutes of action in the new quarter, the Bandits finally got on the board as Tehoka Nanticoke beat Doug Jamieson to tie the game. Less than a minute later, Connor Fields scored another one for Buffalo to take a one-goal lead.  Fields wasted no time scoring his second of the night, gave the Bandits a 3-1 advantage midway through the second quarter.  Chris Cloutier added his name to the stat sheet with just under five minutes to go, pushing the Bandits lead to three goals.  Coming out of a television timeout, Nanticoke notched his second of the night, making it five in a row for Buffalo.  Following a delayed penalty call, Cloutier tiptoed the crease and logged his second of the night, giving Buffalo a 6-1 lead with less than two minutes left in the half. 

Following a defensive stand to open the second half, Andrew Kew struck first in the new quarter to get one back for Albany.  Soon after the FireWolves goal, Buffalo was penalized for tripping, giving Albany their second power play try of the contest.  Ryan Benesch was able to convert on the man-up opportunity, scoring Albany’s second goal of the quarter in less than two minutes.  Making a run, Albany notched their third goal in a row as Joe Resetarits found the back of the net, cutting the deficit to 6-4.  With seven-minute remaining in the third, Mike Byrne was penalized as Buffalo saw their second power play chance of the night. 

Not even halfway through the Bandits’ power play, multiple penalties were called, giving Albany a four on three chance down by two goals.  Not long after, Resetarits scored his second of the night with Byrne scoring his first just seconds later to tie the game at six.  Buffalo was hit with yet another penalty as Albany went back on a man-up advantage.  The third-best power play unit in the league entering the game notched the team’s six goal in a row, retaking the lead, 7-6.  Following another third quarter penalty on the Bandits, Kew notched his second of the night pushing the Albany lead to two.  With just 20 seconds to go in the third quarter, Albany was penalized for a delay of game, marking the eleventh penalty of the game as the third quarter ended.

Buffalo began the fourth quarter with a man advantage but were unable to score as Albany maintained an 8-6 lead.  Despite killing off the penalty, Albany surrendered two quick goals to Dhane Smith and Chase Fraser to tie the game.  Minutes later, Nanticoke completed his hat trick and regained the lead for the Bandits.  With eight minutes to go, Brett Manney was penalized for holding, giving Buffalo their fourth power play try in the contest.  Shortly after, Cloutier completed his hat trick to extend the Buffalo lead.  After a failed challenge by the Bandits, Buffalo scored three quick goals to suddenly push the lead to 13-8 with three minutes to play.  Despite another couple of penalties late in the game, Buffalo had the last laugh, defeating the FireWolves 13-8.

The FireWolves are back home tomorrow night for the second game of a weekend doubleheader in a rematch against the Toronto Rock.  The game is at 7 p.m. at the MVP Arena in Albany and can be watched on ESPN+ and My4 Albany. 

Fans can secure their tickets for the next FireWolves home game now!  For more information regarding tickets, visit www.AlbanyFireWolves.com or call/text the FireWolves front office at 518-362-4900.

The Albany FireWolves 2021-22 Inaugural Season is presented by CDPHP.

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