Return trip for Rock coach

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:16 AM ET

Terry Sanderson learned two important pieces of information about the Buffalo Bandits during his time with the team earlier this season.

"In my opinion, they've got to be considered the best team in the league ... and they have the best player in the game (John Tavares) playing for them," the Toronto Rock general manager/ coach said.

Tonight, Sanderson will look for his fourth win in as many games with the Rock (5-4) when he returns to his old stamping ground -- HSBC Arena -- for a National Lacrosse League game against the East Division-leading Bandits (7-3).

Before arriving in Toronto on Feb. 17, Sanderson spent eight games with the Bandits as an assistant coach this season.

"It was, and still is, a very tight group. I left something pretty good," he said. "I really enjoyed working with somebody I compete against in the summer (in Bandits assistant coach) Troy (Cordingley) and I really enjoyed working with (Bandits coach) Darris (Kilgour). But as good as that was, the situation is good here, too. It was the best decision on my part."

Out of a playoff spot when Sanderson took charge, the Rock could move to within a half game of the Bandits for first with a win tonight. The Bandits' six-game winning streak was snapped last weekend when they lost 13-12 in overtime against the Rochester Knighthawks.

"We still control our own destiny. There is no reason why we couldn't finish first," Rock forward Blaine Manning said. "We've got confidence back and we're starting to play with that edge and instinct."

BRIEFLY: The NLL fined the Philadelphia Wings an undisclosed amount for not playing the Canadian anthem before the Wings-Rock game Saturday. National television and a college basketball game at the Wachovia Spectrum earlier in the day forced officials to rush pre-game activities.


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