story by Craig Rybczynski
(Philadelphia, February 20)… The Rochester Knighthawks used a stifling defensive effort to shutdown the Philadelphia Wings 12-6 tonight at Wachovia Center. Rochester, behind the play of goalie Pat O’Toole, held the Wings scoreless for the final 22:59 to secure their second road win of the season.
While the defense was standing firm, the Knighthawks used eight power-play goals to erase two three-goal deficits. Rochester scored six of their eight second-half goals on the man-advantage, including four straight to end the game. The Knighthawks outscored the Wings 8-1 over the final 30 minutes.
Rochester (5-3) won for the second straight week and handed the Wings (1-6) their fifth straight loss. The Knighthawks improved to 19-15 all-time against the Wings and captured the third win in last four tries against Philly.
O’Toole earned the win in a 34-save effort to move within 66 saves of breaking Dallas Eliuk’s league saves record of 6,356. Former Wing Gary Gait had the hot hand as he scored four goals, while John Grant Jr. (1+5), Shawn Evans (1+5) and Shawn Williams (2+4) chipped in six points each. Additionally, Steve Toll netted a season-high two goals and gathered in 18 loose balls.
Philadelphia got four points (2+2) from Dan Teat and three points from Kyle Wailes (2+1) and John Christmas, who scored the team’s lone second-half goal. Goalie Brandon Miller turned away 39 Rochester shots. Geoff Snider also scored one goal, scooped up 18 loose balls and won 18 faceoffs. Snider, however, took a key penalty with the Wings down 10-6 with over four minutes to play.
The Wings opened the game with three goals in the first 3:51 as Wailes, Teat and Snider all beat O’Toole. The patient Knighthawks then began to chip away at the lead with goals from Toll, shorthanded, and Williams. Philadelphia responded and extended its lead back to three at 5-2 with tallies by Wailes and Teat.
That’s when the Rochester defense put the clamps on the Wings’ offense. Rochester took over with Toll’s second of the night and three straight PP goals by Gait, Chris Schiller and Williams. Christmas evened the game at six at 9:54 of the third, but that was the last goal of the night from the Wings. Rochester increased its lead to 8-6 in the third on a long-range goal by Evans. In the fourth, the K-Hawks pumped in four power-play goals to put the game out of reach.
The Knighthawks’ next home game features the Third Annual Teddy Bear Auction for CURE Childhood Cancer Association on Saturday, February 27th. Fans can bid on the bears made by the players at an auction at The Blue Cross Arena. Build-A-Bear Workshop will also donate a bear signed by the entire team to help with the charitable event. The Knighthawks will also celebrate their mascot’s birthday, as R. Thunder will enjoy his special day with 20 of his furry friends. After the game, fans can head down to Legends for the official postgame party.
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