The Buffalo Bandits defeated the New York Titans tonight by a score of 19-12 in the East Division Final on Saturday night at HSBC Arena. The Bandits will host the winner of the Portland-Calgary game in the 2008 Edge NLL Championship Game on Saturday, May 17 at 7:30pm ET.
New York to an early 3-1 lead before Buffalo scored the final three goals of the first quarter to take a 5-4 lead. Buffalo dominated the second quarter, outscoing New York 4-1 to take a 9-5 halftime lead. Ken Montour saved 12 of the 13 shots he faced in the Bandits net during the quarter.
The Titans mounted a comeback in the third quarter. Brendan Mundorf's goal with three minutes remaining cut the Buffalo lead to 12-10.
The Bandits came out firing in the fourth quarter, scoring the first five goals, including three consecutive goals by Mark Steenhuis to take control of the contest.
The Bandits return to the Edge NLL Championship Game for the second time in three seasons. They lost to Colorado in the 2006 final. Buffalo will be looking for its fourth championship and first since 1996.
The loss ends a memorable run for the Titans, who reach the East Division Final in just their second season in the league. After a 1-4 start, New York roared to a 10-6 regular season record and defeated Minnesota in the Divisional Semifinal before tonight's loss.
Bandits goaltender Ken Montour made 41 saves in the Buffalo net. Titans goaltender Matt Vinc had a tough night, only saving 15 of the 30 shots he faced. Vinc was replaced by Erik Miller early in the 4th quarter.
Mark Steenhuis and John Tavares had monster nights for Buffalo. Steenhuis scored six goals and two assists. Tavares scored three goals and nine assists for a twelve-point game.
Brendan Mundorf had three goals and two assists for New York. Pat Maddalena had three goals and an assist. Casey Powell had two goals and four assists.