Williams, Gait Put On A Show To Land Hawks First

I was able to take some guests down to Rochester on the weekend to catch the Knighthawks taking on the Toronto Rock. Of course, this is a huge rivalry with many of the fans promoting the games themselves, by travelling with their respective teams to games at their opponents venues. And this one continued that same tradition.

A fairly good crowd of just over 7,000 turned out to watch the Knighthawks grab their first victory of the 2009 season 13-11 over Toronto. It was a pretty entertaining game with Toronto only ever holding the lead once in the third quarter, but playing with a renewed energy often found after a change behind the bench. Were it not for Paddy O’Toole in the first 5-6 minutes to open the game, Toronto may have been able to jump out to easily a three or four goal lead. There were chances early and quite often for the Rock, but O’Toole slammed the door when called upon.

Rochester on the other hand, took a few minutes in the opening period to get going, but once they did, all of their top guns were on fire. Gary Gait looked like he was 25 again and scored four goals, a couple of them leaving everyone wondering how and why (how the heck did he do that, and why is he still as good as he is). Player of the game was Shawn William who was simply incredible netting two goals on the night but setting up seven others. Williams is the quarterback here and he played a great game. Jason Henhawk scored three and helped out on four more, but late in the game he suffered what has been reported as a broken ankle. This will hurt if it is indeed broken as Henhawk has an absolute cannon of a shot and played very well on Saturday. Aaron Wilson had some redemption on his old team scoring three and Shawn Evan scored once on a breakaway and chipped in with five assists.

For Toronto, Kasey Beirnes continued his offensive breakout scoring four goals (1a), while Jason Crosbie had two goals and five assists. Singles went to Luke Wiles (3a), Lewis Ratcliff (4a), Stephen Hoar, Scott Campbell and Rob Marshall (1a). As I mentioned the Rock played with a renewed energy but played catch up all night to Rochester. It will certainly take a few games for the team to get used to the style of Jamie Batley and the new coaches, but this effort for Toronto was superior to that in the past number of weeks.

Other Game Notes:
– Toronto was 3-5 on the PP, Rochester was 2-3
– Rochester with the help of pickup Anthony Kelly won the face-off battle going 16-28
– why are NLL lacrosse players so likeable by the fans? Rock forward Jason Crosbie gave his stick after the game to one of our young guests. It made that kid’s weekend.
– why else? Rochester had a meet and greet autograph session on the floor after the game and it was packed. I joked with Bill Greer a little and he told me that he stood right beside Gary Gait so that it looked like they were all there for him. (no joking Bill, a lot of them were).
– still not convinced? A big thank you to Shawn Williams who helped us out with some tickets for the young guys, and Paddy O’Toole who helped us get a place to stay Saturday. They won’t stop talking about this for a while.
– not necessarily a game note, but we had our pregame dine at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que a block from the Blue Cross arena. This was a 100% recommendation from others that I will now pass on to all of you. Oh boy….


1 Comment

  1. And thus bring’s the Rock’s record in Rochester to 1-15. But only one person chose Rochester. This should have been the easiest game to get right (and the one where I actually remember to make a predition /before/ the game).


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