Evans Scores Winner Late as Bandits Top Wings in Season Opener
The rivalry between the Buffalo Bandits and Philadelphia has officially been renewed.
Buffalo is off to a 1-0 start in the 2018-19 season after hanging on to beat the Philadelphia Wings in the first game of new iteration of the Wings' franchise on Saturday.
Shawn Evans recorded nine points, including the game-winning goal with 1:05 left, to lift the Bandits to a 17-15 victory at Wells Fargo Center.
Dhane Smith, who left the game with an injury with 36.8 seconds remaining, posted two goals and six assists while newcomer Corey Small made a great first impression with five goals and an assist.
Buffalo acquired Small from the Vancouver Warriors in November. He now has 566 points (235+331) in 134 career games.
Matt Vinc won his first game as a Bandit with 36 saves on 51 shots.
The Bandits got off to a hot start with a 3-0 lead, including a goal from Thomas Hoggarth just 30 seconds into the contest.
Former Bandit Vaughn Harris scored the first goal in Philadelphia's franchise history to make it 3-1. The Wings franchise hit the reset button this year, rejoining the NLL as an expansion team after the original Wings moved to New England in 2014.
The Wings battled back to make it 4-4 and that would be the theme for much of the game. While the Wings would tie the game on two separate occasions, including an effort to make it 15-15 late in the fourth quarter, they would never hold a lead.
Steve Priolo, entering his second season as Bandits captain, recorded two goals and two assists, including an empty netter to ice it.
The Bandits are back in action Friday night for their home opener against the Toronto Rock. Faceoff from KeyBank Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.
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