The New York Riptide return to action on Saturday, April 15 when they head to western New York to take on the Buffalo Bandits for the second and final time this season, with opening faceoff scheduled for 7:30 PM at the KeyBank Center. Buffalo defeated New York 16-10 in their previous matchup this season, which took place on January 28 at Nassau Coliseum.
Buffalo is led offensively by the two-headed monster of Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne. Smith, the reigning NLL MVP, is second only to Jeff Teat in points with 108, and leads the league with 79 assists, and Byrne leads the team with 34 goals despite missing 3 games due to injury and is second to Smith with 74 points. Buffalo also gets plenty of production from their back end, with Ian MacKay, who had 6 points in the previous meeting between these teams, being one of the best two-way players in the league with 32 points, 100 loose balls, and 15 caused turnovers, as well as Steve Priolo, who has 18 points to go along with 121 loose balls and 17 caused turnovers, and Nick Weiss, who also has 18 points with 103 loose balls and 22 caused turnovers.
New York will look to get their offense going after scoring just 15 total goals in their last 2 games while going 2-9 on the power play, both against Georgia. In their most recent outing, the Riptide offense was limited to just 7 goals, with Reilly O’Connor, Mike Burke, and Tyler Digby each scoring twice, with O’Connor also leading the team with 8 loose balls, while Jeff Teat was held off the scoresheet for just the third time all season. The Riptide will look to its veterans on defense, including former Bandits Kevin Brownell and Jay Thorimbert, to protect young goalie Cameron Dunkerley from the high powered Bandits attack as he will make his fifth consecutive start.
The game will be available to watch on ESPN+, and listen to on WRHU 88.7 FM, WRHU.org and the WRHU iPhone App. Live stats and periodic in-game updates will be available via Twitter @ NewYorkRiptide.