Buffalo Bandits Repeat as National Lacrosse League Champions and Capture NLL Cup
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Season MVP Byrne also Named Finals MVP; Fourth Seeds Sweep Best-of-Three in Front of Home Fans at KeyBank Center after Dominating Second Half to Take Game 1 Friday; First to Go Back-to-Back Since 2015-16

PHILADELPHIA - iSportsWire -- The fourth-seeded Buffalo Bandits claimed their second straight National Lacrosse League (@NLL) Championship, earning a 15-13 win in front of a sellout crowd of 19,070 at KeyBank Center to sweep the best-of-three series from the third-seeded Albany FireWolves. The Bandits, playing in their fourth straight Finals, became the first team to repeat since the Edmonton/Saskatchewan Rush turned the trick in 2015 and 2016. In all, eight teams have now gone back-to-back.

Tonight, Buffalo took a 4-1 lead then extended to 8-3 with 9:28 left in the first half, with two goals each by Chase Fraser and Tehoka Nanticoke and four other Bandits scoring one each before the FireWolves fought their way back to a 9-8 deficit early in the third. But a run of five straight markers by the hosts, including three more by Fraser, who finished the day with five goals and two assists, proved the decisive stretch to give the franchise its sixth championship. NLL Most Valuable Player and NLL Finals presented by AXIA Time MVP Josh Byrne collected eight assists. Sam Firth had five goals and two assists in a losing cause for the FireWolves.

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On Friday, Buffalo struck first with a late flurry in Friday's opener at Albany's MVP Arena, erasing a 6-5 halftime deficit with seven of the next eight goals, including three straight into the fourth quarter, for a 12-8 win. Dhane Smith registered an astounding nine assists, Byrne had a three-goal, four-assist night and Matt Vinc recorded 37 saves.

NLL Finals presented by AXIA Time Summary:

(4) Buffalo Bandits vs. (3) Albany FireWolves
  • Game 1 – Buffalo 12, at Albany 9, Friday, May 17
  • Game 2 – at Buffalo 15, Albany 13, Saturday, May 18

About the National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America's largest professional lacrosse league and welcomed more than 1 million fans for the second year in a row during the 2023-24 season. Founded in 1986, the NLL is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada, and recently unveiled its largest brand campaign ever, "Welcome to The Next Major League (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAilLW1kGJc)™" and introduced its comprehensive grassroots initiative, NLL UnBOXed (https://www.nll.com/unboxed/)™, that will expand the League's footprint to more than 60 communities across North America by 2027.

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For the latest scores and developments in the National Lacrosse League, please visit: NLL.com (http://www.nll.com/) and find the NLL on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NLL/), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/nll/?hl=en), Twitter (https://twitter.com/NLL), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/NLL) and TikTok (https://www.tiktok.com/@nll_official?lang=en).

Media Contact
Jerry Milani

Source: National Lacrosse League
Filed Under: Sports, Lacrosse

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