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Bandits Win 6th NLL Championship; Byrne Named 2024 Finals MVP

May 18, 2024 - National Lacrosse League (NLL)
Buffalo Bandits News Release

Byrne tallied a game-high 9 points in the 15-13 win.

Despite losing three consecutive games at the midway point of the regular season to fall to seventh place in the standings, Buffalo Bandits captain Steve Priolo said the belief in the Bandits' locker room never wavered.

That belief came to fruition Saturday as the Bandits swept their best-of-three championship series against the Albany FireWolves with a 15-13 victory in Game 2 at KeyBank Center, securing their second straight NLL Cup and sixth championship in franchise history.

Josh Byrne, who was named the NLL's Most Valuable Player on Friday and Offensive Player of the Year on Thursday, led the Bandits with one goal and eight assists in the win to be named the 2024 NLL Finals MVP. Chase Fraser scored a team-high five goals and added two assists while alternate captain Dhane Smith tallied a pair of goals and five assists for a seven-point performance of his own. Goaltender Matt Vinc stopped 36 of 49 shots in the win.

Byrne recorded three goals and four assists in addition to nine shots and nine loose-ball recoveries in Game 1 of the Finals for a total of 16 points (4+12) in the series. He finished with 33 points (12+21) through five postseason games.

"I couldn't have done this without all of my teammates, you know, the coaching staff, organization," Byrne said.

Buffalo won six of its last seven regular season contests to clinch the No. 4 seed in the playoffs and never looked back, posting a 10-9 overtime win over Georgia in the single-elimination quarterfinal before sweeping Toronto in the best-of-three semifinals.

"We're not done here," Smith told TSN's Brianne Foley following the game. "We want to keep continuing on. We have a great young team. We're going to keep going here."

The Bandits will host a championship celebration on Sunday, May 19 in Alumni Plaza, beginning at 12 p.m. The event, which is free and open to all fans, will begin with an Orange and Black Carpet walk before the team gathers on stage to salute Banditland and thank fans for their support throughout the 2023-24 season.

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