NLL Roundup: Bandits Victorious on John Tavares Jersey Retirement Night
BUFFALO, N.Y. — An emotional night at First Niagara Center started with the Buffalo Bandits unveiling No. 11 banner in the rafters and ended with No. 11 leading the home team on a post-game victory lap.
The Bandits retired National Lacrosse League legend John Tavares' jersey Friday, and then took care of business on the floor with a 13-10 win over the Rochester Knighthawks in front of 18,751 fans. Tavares, the NLL's all-time leading scorer, is in his first season behind the bench as an assistant coach for Buffalo.
"It was a little slippery out there in good shoes," he told The Buffalo News. "I didn't want to fall. I thought they might pull the rookie stunt where they send someone out and then don't follow him. I cut it short after a little while."
Tavares' speech highlighted a 30-minute ceremony that also included video and gift presentations.
"I did surprisingly well on the speech," Tavares told The News. "It was a great presentation by the Bandits, very professional. But more importantly, the team won."
John Tavares' Jersey Retirement Speech
Mar 12, 2016
Rival Rochester almost spoiled the night. Going 4-for-5 on the power play, the Knighthawks stayed within striking distance until Buffalo went on a four-goal run in the fourth quarter to go up 12-8.
Mark Steenhuis, who became the 10th player in NLL history with at least 900 career points, scored two of the goals during the spurt. Dhane Smith, who continued his torrid pace with seven points, and Ryan Benesch (six points) had the other goals.
Buffalo improved to 7-4 with its third straight win and took a half-game lead for first place in the NLL East, pending New England's result against Rochester on Saturday. The Knighthawks lost for the third time in four games and fell to 4-5.
Dickson Scores Six, Dobbie Shines in Return
TORONTO — Curtis Dickson scored six goals and added an assist to lead the Calgary Roughnecks to a 15-10 win over the Toronto Rock at the Air Canada Centre on Friday.
The win snapped a four-game losing skid for the Roughnecks (4-7), who moved past the Vancouver Stealth (3-6) and into third spot in the NLL West.
The Roughnecks also were bolstered by the return of forward Dane Dobbie, who missed the past four games with an upper-body injury, Dobbie made an immediate impact against the Rock (2-7) with two goals and three assists.
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