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What to watch for vs. Buffalo Bandits

NLL Semifinals Game One Friday Night in Rock City

Hamilton, ON – The Toronto Rock (#1 Seed) will take on the Buffalo Bandits (#4 Seed) tonight at FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, ON. It’s game one of the best-of-3 NLL Semifinals series between two bitter rivals.

The Buffalo Bandits are the defending NLL Champions and have ended the Toronto Rock’s season in each of the last three seasons in the second round of the NLL Playoffs.  Despite the Rock’s 15-3 season, the only team they failed to beat at least once was, you guessed it, the Buffalo Bandits who won both head-to-head meetings this season.

Last weekend, the Rock’s defence and goaltending stole the show in a 9-6 NLL Quarterfinals win over the Rochester Knighthawks.  For the Bandits, getting to the semifinals wasn’t as easy.  They needed a Josh Byrne overtime goal to sneak past the Georgia Swarm in front of a packed house in Banditland.

Fans can watch the game vs. Buffalo at 7:30pm ET on TSN’s digital platform TSN+ via TSN.ca and the TSN App as well as ESPN+.  To stream the game, you need a TSN+ subscription.

Here’s what to watch for in Friday’s matchup.

  • Close games, not—so close games, we’ve seen it all in both the regular season and playoffs between these two teams. Last season, the Bandits outscored the Rock 31-13 in the two-game series win over the Rock.  What will we get this year?  The Rock have had the better regular season overall, and the big difference heading into this series is the Rock’s ownership of home floor advantage.
  • The Rock scored 26 goals in their two losses to the Bandits during the 2023-24 regular season. On the other side, the Rock gave up 30 goals, 3 of which were empty net goals. Nick Rose only allowed one more goal against than Matt Vinc in the two head-to-head matchups.
  • Challen Rogers has delivered some great playoff performances and his 2 goal, 3 assist performance in the NLL Quarterfinals was another masterpiece. The Captain wants to continue to build on his clutch contributions of the past and he may be counted on more than ever to be the difference in this series.
  • Mark Matthews and Chris Corbeil are the only Rock players with a championship ring. They have 3 each, all with the Rush franchise.
  • INJURY REPORT: Brandon Slade is on the IR with a lower body injury. Latrell Harris and Chase Schiavon remain on the PUP List.
  • The series shifts to Buffalo on Sunday night for Game 2 at 5:30pm at KeyBank Center. If necessary, Game 3 will be back in Rock City on Sat., May 11 at 7pm.

Fans should also check out the latest episode of Rock City Unplugged, streaming now on the Rock’s YouTube Channel and on TSN+.

Get primed for tonight’s game with the latest episode of the Toronto Rock Total Access podcast.

For more information on Toronto Rock tickets, please contact a Toronto Rock account executive by phone at 416-596-3075, by email at tickets@torontorock.com or visit torontorock.com.

Toronto Rock