The Buffalo Bandits snapped an eight game losing streak and earned their first playoff win since 2011 with a 15-13 win over the Toronto Rock on Saturday night in the first round of the NLL playoffs.
The game was tied 10-10 going into the fourth quarter with the Bandits on a power play. John Tavares scored 33 seconds into the quarter to give Buffalo the lead for good. Dhane Smith scored 47 seconds later on a goal that was disallowed at first but was overturned after Bandits head coach, Troy Cordingley, threw the replay challenge flag.
Ryan Benesch tied a team playoff record with seven goals in the victory. He also added three assists to give him 10 points for the game. Benesch has 19 points in his last two games after scoring nine points in the regular season finale.
Buffalo was 4-for-5 on the power play including three power play goals in the fourth quarter.
Anthony Cosmo made 41 saves on 54 shots for his first career playoff win. Cosmo was 0-7 in the postseason coming into the game. He did start a playoff game for San Jose that was a win but was not statistically credited for the victory.
The Bandits move on to the Eastern Division final against the two-time defending champions, Rochester Knighthawks. It is a best of two series with game one in Buffalo next Saturday at 7:30 PM. Game two will be May 17 in Rochester. If the teams split the two games then a 10-minute mini game will decide the series immediately after game two.