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Bandits advance to NLL Championship

Posted at 10:10 PM, May 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-21 23:50:00-04

For the first time since 2008, the Bandits will play for the NLL Championship, defeating New England 20-15 in Game 2 of the East Finals on Saturday.

Dhane Smith continued his assault on opposing goalies, scoring four goals and added five assists to power Buffalo to victory.

Alexander-Kedoh Hill added four goals as well, while Mark Steenhuis, Ryan Benesch and Chad Culp each tallied hat tricks.

Buffalo wasted little time opening the scoring, finding the back of the net 11 seconds into the game on Jay Thorimbert's one-hopper past Evan Kirk from just outside the crease.

Steenhuis gave Buffalo a 2-0 lead two minutes later, but it was New England that used a 5-1 run to end the quarter to take a 5-3 lead into the second.

Trailing 9-6 in the second, the Bandits used goals from Kedoh-Hill, Benesch and Smith to square things up at nine before the half.

Buffalo would carry that momentum into the third take a one goal lead into the fourth.

Culp and Benesch tallied two goals goals in the final frame to help secure the victory for Buffalo.

The Bandits will play the winner of Calgary and Saskatchewan.  The Rush won Game 1 of the series 16-10. Game 2 of the West Finals is currently in progress.