The New York Riptide was hoping to take advantage of a Buffalo team that played the night before and was missing its injured sniper for the entire second half. But in the end, the Bandits proved they have too many weapons to stay down for long.
Brandon Robinson scored two of his three goals in the opening stages of the decisive third quarter and NLL leading scorer Dhane Smith added four goals and seven helpers as Buffalo kept New York winless at home with a 16-10 victory Saturday night.
Jeff Teat scored three times and added four assists and Tyler Digby and Lars Sundown had two goals apiece for the Riptide, who fell to 0-5 at Nassau Coliseum this season and 1-5 overall. New York won at Albany last week and play four of its next five games on the road, starting Saturday at Toronto.
Buffalo (6-2) completed its road weekend sweep after topping Philadelphia 13-9 Friday night.
The Riptide finished the first half strong by scoring three of the final four goals of the second quarter to tie the game at 7 heading into intermission. To make matters worse for the Bandits, NLL leading goal scorer Josh Byrne limped off the field after getting hit in the Riptide zone in the final seconds and did not return.
But that momentum didn’t carry over into the third quarter.
With just under four minutes gone in the second half, Robinson took a pass from Tehoka Nanticoke while cutting towards the net and found the top-right corner to put Buffalo back on top. Fifty-seven seconds later, he weaved his way down the right slot and bounced a leaping shot by Riptide goalie Steve Orleman to complete the hat trick.
Digby cut the New York deficit back to one with 8:18 left, but Ian MacKay and Matt Spanger quickly answered 43 seconds apart to put the Bandits up 11-8.
“We said to the guys after the game, ‘we made a lot of uncharacteristic errors’,” Riptide coach Dan Ladouceur said. “In that second half, backhand passes we don’t normally [do were] throw away, two false starts off the line, the devil is in the details. Coming out of the half, we had to be sharp as a tack because we knew that they were going to come out of the half hard.”
Teat finished his hat trick 50 seconds after Spanger’s goal, but Buffalo scored three of the final four goals of the third to take a 14-10 lead entering the final stanza. Bandits goalie Matt Vinc stopped all 15 shots in the fourth 15 to finish with 42 saves and MacKay and Smith scored power-play goals to cap the scoring.
“Sometimes, you don’t get into an even flow and I think that’s what happened at the beginning of that third quarter,” Teat said. “We were getting some good looks, we were hitting a lot of pipes, he made a ton of great saves and he’s a great goalie. They’re obviously a good defense and we also hold ourselves to a high standard, so I think it comes down to execution.”
The Bandits went 5-for-7 with the man advantage and the Riptide went 1-for-4.
“We didn’t get a chance to get into too many shooting lanes,” Ladouceur said. “In the last game, we blocked a lot of shots. They were able to drag down and get clean shots off.”
New York will again try to win at home when it hosts Albany on Feb. 11 for “Valentine’s Day” at the Coliseum.