by Thomas McNeeley Dec 3, 2021
Face-Off Weekend. December 3-4. The NLL is back.
After a grueling 20 months off with no competition, the National Lacrosse League finally returns to play.
Buffalo Bandits forward Dhane Smith is more than ready to get back on the floor. “It's been a long time coming… You miss those teammates, you miss seeing those guys, playing with those guys.”
The fifth overall NLL draft pick (2012) is bringing championship experience to Buffalo this time around. Smith, a midfielder on Chaos LC notched 18 points over three postseason games en route to a championship victory over the reigning back-to-back champions Whipsnakes LC in the Premier Lacrosse League.
“Winning that championship was one of the toughest things I’ve ever gone through. It was the first pro championship I’ve won… It’s kind of cool to bring that to Buffalo, that winning moral.”
The Bandits open their 2021-22 season in Buffalo at the KeyBank Center on Saturday, December 4th vs the Calgary Roughnecks. Buffalo held a 7-4 record while Calgary sat at .500 with a 5-5 record before the 2020 season was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Smith was on pace to have another stellar season as he recorded 15 goals and 33 assists through eight games last season. When asked about the time off from the indoor game Smith said “It’s one of those things you can’t really complain about because everybody is going through it. There is going to be some pain throughout the first few games… We’ve had some scrimmages to get our feet wet.”
You can watch the NLL on ESPN/ESPN+ as the league signed a historic multi-year deal with the worldwide leader of sports in October. TSN will also produce the regular season “NLL Game of the Week” throughout the season for those watching in Canada.
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