(Minnesota, January 8)… Craig Point scored three minutes into overtime to give the Rochester Knighthawks a come-from-behind 11-10 victory over the Minnesota Swarm at the Xcel Energy Center Saturday night.
“Wouldn’t have it any other way with a win,” said Point. “We came into their barn and took it away.”
Point led the Knighthawks with three goals and also added one assist, as Rochester needed a late rally to force OT. The K-Hawks scored two goals in five seconds in the final three minutes to tie the game at 10 with Shawn Evans (2+1) and Shawn Williams (1+5) scoring the fourth-quarter markers.
Rookie Cody Jamieson also notched two goals and Matt Vinc was stellar in goal with 40 saves. The duo was two of the eight new faces in the lineup for Rochester. Vinc was huge in the fourth quarter stopping 12 shots, which included a barrage while the team tried to kill off a five-minute major in the final seven minutes and a 5-on-3 situation.
“I just wanted to make one save at a time,” said Vinc. “I just wanted to give our team a chance to win. It’s nice to get a ‘W’ in the first game.”
For the Swarm, Andrew Watt finished with a hat trick and one assist, while Ryan Benesch (2+3) and Matt Giles (2+2) also served as key factors for Minnesota.
The first quarter did not lack any intensity as Rochester’s Chandon Hill and Minnesota’s Andrew Suitor heightened the already static environment in the Xcel Energy Center with a fight in the early minutes.
The Knigthawks were first to get on the board with a rocket from Mike Accursi, but Minnesota answered quickly with a goal by forward Andrew Watt. Shortly after, Rochester scored on a breakaway goal by Pat McCready, who slipped the ball over the right shoulder of Minnesota goalie Nick Patterson. Zack Greer then answered for the Swarm to tie the score up at two.
Knighthawks forward Evans took advantage of the power play with a right-handed shot from the wing that seared the net to take the lead once again, but Minnesota took away the momentum from Rochester with a breakaway goal by Watt with seven seconds left in the first.
Rochester came out firing in the second with two quick goals. Jamieson scored his first goal of his NLL career, which was assisted by Williams and Pat McCready and shortly after Point followed with his first goal of the season.
“was squeezing the stick a little tight and missed a couple of chance before that. It was a relief to finally get it,” said Jamieson, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Callum Crawford would answer for the Minnesota as he made it 5-4 for the Swarm with a goal with 4:30 left to close the Knighthawks lead to one.
In the third, Rochester came out firing once again with a goal by Jamieson and veteran Gary Gait to put the Knighthawks up by three early in the third. Troy Bonterre then dropped the gloves against Rory Smith to give the Knighthawks even more momentum early in the third, but the Swarm continued to fight. Watt scored his third goal for the hat trick to make it 7-6 Rochester. Craig Point responded for Rochester as he held off two defenders to score his second to make it 8-6 at the end of the third.
Shortly into the fourth, Crawford closed the lead to one and Benesch then tied the matchup as he scooped up a rebound and slid it past Vinc. Chris Schiller then tip-toed the crease and shot the ball over the left shoulder of Patterson, but after a Minnesota challenge it was ruled that Schiller’s foot was in the crease which kept the game tied at eight. A five-minute major for head butting by Jamieson led to Minnesota’s first lead of the night as Giles dove across the crease to slide it past Vinc. The goal was challenged by Rochester, but was upheld. Minnesota pulled ahead by two as Giles took advantage of a 5-on-3 to put it in the net for a power-play goal to make it 10-8 Swarm.
The Knighthawks kept clawing back as they scored two goals in five seconds to tie the game at 10 with goals from Evans and Williams which led the game to overtime. In overtime, Point sealed the deal with a nifty goal as the ball squirted underneath the legs of Patterson as Rochester went on to win 11-10 in its first game of the season.
The Knighthawks will open the home portion of their schedule on Saturday, January 15th against the Toronto Rock at 7:35 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. To order tickets, fans can call an account executive at (585) 454-5335 or go online to Knighthawks.net. Rochester Knighthawks individual tickets for the 2011 National Lacrosse League season are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, and at The Blue Cross Arena Box Office.
Craig Rybczynski (454-5335 ext. 3008), Vice President of Communications
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