The Vancouver Stealth kept it close for three quarters before the Buffalo Bandits blew things open in the fourth with an eight-goal outburst.
The end result was a 17-9 Bandits victory at Buffalo’s First Niagara Center on Saturday night.
Thankfully for Vancouver (5-12), the game meant nothing in the standings ahead of this Saturday’s showdown with the Calgary Roughnecks (6-11) at the Langley Events Centre. Game time is 7 p.m.
The winner earns the National Lacrosse League West Division’s final playoff berth.
Offensively, the Stealth got a balanced attack as Logan Schuss (two goals, four assists), Corey Small (three goals, one assist), Rhys Duch (one goal, four assists) and Tyler Digby (two goals, two assists) all had multi-point games.
But Vancouver got just one goal in transition — an unassisted marker from Ilija Gajic as they lost for the eighth time in the past nine games.
The Bandits duo of Mark Steenhuis (seven goals, two assists) and Ryan Benesch (four goals, five assists( burned the Stealth while clinching the final playoff spot in the East Division.
Tyler Richards returned to action for the Stealth, surrendering a dozen goals on 40 shots. Eric Penney stopped 12 of the 17 shots he faced after entering in the fourth quarter.