(Rochester, January 9)
The Rochester Knighthawks defeated the Buffalo Bandits 10-5 tonight as John Grant Jr. and Gary Gait served notice to the National Lacrosse League as they have combined for 13 points (5+8) in their first pro game together. Rochester improved to 1-0 in front of a crowd of 8,192 at The Blue Cross Arena.
Grant, who missed the entire 2009 season, led the way with two goals and six assists. He now stands just four goals away from reaching the 400-goal plateau. Gait chipped in three goals and two assists. Goalie Pat O’Toole was also stellar in goal making 42 saves and holding Buffalo to one second-half goal. Rochester was also deadly on the power play, going 4-for-5.
Buffalo was led by a three-point (1+2) effort from Mark Steenhuis. Buffalo was limited to just five goals without the presence of the league’s all-time leading scorer, John Tavares, who was scratched tonight. Goalie Ken Montour stopped 46 Rochester shots in the loss.
Rochester opened the 2010 season with a 3-0 run as Gait, Shawn Evans and Grant scored in a 5:21 span. The first goal was one that Grant, who grew up idolizing Gait, won’t soon forget. Rant fed Gait at 1:34 of the first quarter.
Buffalo, however, responded with two goals in 22 seconds to cut the lead to 3-2 and get their fans back in the game. The two goals were part of a 4-0 Buffalo run to take a 4-3 lead at 4:18 of the second quarter. The lead was short-lived as Gait (two) and Grant (one) scored the next two goals to stake Rochester to a 5-4 advantage and spark a 4-0 run of their run. The Knighthawks held a 7-4 halftime lead. Cory Bomberry registered the K-Hawks seventh goal, which was his first in a Rochester uniform since March 29, 2003.
The second quarter belonged to the Knighthawks as Rochester notched one goal in the third and two in the fourth. Buffalo scored one goal at 5:20 of the quarter and was held scoreless for the past 24:40.
With the win, Rochester now leads the all-time series with a mark of 23-14, which includes a 15-5 record at home. Rochester also improved to 8-8 on opening night and 8-8 in home openers. The victory was their first home-opening win since they defeated Toronto 10-6 on January 13, 2007.
Rochester hits the road for a three-game road trip that makes stops in Buffalo, Toronto and Orlando. The first road game is set for Saturday, January 16th at 7:30 p.m. at HSBC Arena. The game will be broadcast live on The Zone 94.1 FM and thezone941.com. Fans can also watch the game live on the NLL Network on NLL.com.
Craig Rybczynski (454-5335 ext. 3008), Vice President of Communications
Warren Kosel (454-5335 ext. 3025), Communications Coordinator
Rochester Knighthawks Lacrosse Club
Blue Cross Arena at Rochester War Memorial
One War Memorial Square
Rochester, NY 14614
Phone: (585) 454-5335
Fax: (585) 454-3954