The Bandits finished 8-8 last season, making the playoffs as the third seed. They lost to the eventual east champions Toronto Rock in the first round. The Bandits made the playoffs on the last day of the season, beating the Boston Blazers to clinch.
Buffalo had a terrific year from Mark Steenhius, who finished fourth in the league in scoring with 90 points and 36 goals. Steenhius was looking to prove himself in elite player in this league, scoring 101 goals the previous season. Steenhius was also second in the league with 175 shots on goal, second to only John Grant.
Buffalo's next leading goal scorer was 37th in the league, and it was the 42 year old John Tavares. Tavares, a Bandit since 1992 and a future hall of famer, scored 49 points and was second on the team. He scored 21 goals and 28 assits.
Buffalo's next three top scorers were Mike Accursi, Kevin Dostie, and Brett Bucktooth. Buffalo was third in the East in goals scored, scoring more than Boston, Rochester, and Philadelphia. But their goals again est was also third in the east with 170 GA. One of their goaltenders, Mike Thompson, had a 9.92 GAA. The other two goaltenders for the Bandits, Ken Montour and Angus Goodleaf, had 10.89 and 10.75 GAAs, respectively.
Buffalo played more overtime games than anyone last season in the east, winning two and losing one. Their wins were a thrilling win over Toronto, and a nailbaiter in Boston. Their loss came vs Colorado. Buffalo had only one winning streak all season, and that was a three game winning streak vs Orlando, Toronto and Boston.
Buffalo has made some good acquisitions this offseason. They signed former Boston Blazer Brenden Thenhaus and Kyle Clancy, who was the Bandits first round pick last season. Buffalo also drafted Travis Irving with their ninth overall pick, and also drafted Ben McCollough.
Buffalo is going to have a tough time in the east this season. Orlando is gone, but Toronto is still there and Boston is much improved. The Bandits will make the playoffs, but probably no higher than a third seed. Buffalo will now be three years removed from their 2008 championship, and need to start a whole new dynasty this season.
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