The Rochester Knighthawks (0-1) will take on the Buffalo Bandits (1-1) tonight in their home opener at the Blue Cross Arena. It will be the first of a dreaded four game series between the two division rivals this season. Last season, the Bandits won two out of three games against Rochester.
Both teams have very different rosters from last year, however. Mainly, the Knighthawks have added playmaker "Dangerous" Dan Dawson. Dawson finished third in the league with 103 points (25G + 78A) last year and had four assists in his Knighthawk debut against the Washington Stealth two weeks ago.
Casey Powell also seems finally ready to play this weekend. He missed the first game of the season with what was being described as the flu, but according to some of his recent tweets he is "feeling good" and even has 22 family members coming to the game tonight to watch him play. This is a pretty good indication that he will be in the lineup.
On the Bandits side of things, Buffalo has a ton of new players including former Rochester Knighthawks Aaron Wilson and Shawn Williams. Williams played ten seasons in Rochester and was one of the best Knighthawks forwards. Rochester traded him to Edmonton a couple of years ago in a deal that sent two-time NLL Defender of the Year Ryan Cousins to the Hawks. Williams has now found his way back to Buffalo which could come back to hurt Rochester, especially considering Cousins is currently on the Physically Unable to Perform List.
The Bandits also added first round draft pick Dhane Smith to their offense. Smith scored a hat trick last week against the Swarm, proving that he is already a threat.
With so much talent on both team's offenses, tonight's game has all the makings of an exciting, high-scoring game. The ball drops at 7:30 p.m. EST.