(Rochester, March 26)…The Rochester Knighthawks took a giant step toward a playoff berth tonight after securing a 13-10 win over the East Division Philadelphia Wings at The Blue Cross Arena. With the win, fueled by a dominating fourth quarter, the K-Hawks improved to 6-5 in front of nearly 7,000 Rochester fans. The Wings fell to 4-8 and suffered a blow to their postseason hopes.
With six points on the night, Rochester’s Shawn Evans (1+5) and Shawn Williams (0+6) played big roles in the crucial contest, contributing in nine of the Hawks’ 13 goals tonight. Jordan Hall (2+3) and Jarrett Davis (1+3) also had noteworthy games with multi-point outings. Scott Campbell also scored his first NLL hat trick, while newcomer Cory Vitarelli (2+1) earned three points in tonight’s contest and the Game MVP. Rochester’s goaltender Matt Vinc, who picked up his sixth win of the season, also managed to save 26 of Philadelphia’s 36 shots in the victory. Rochester moved into sole possesion of third place in the East Division with the win.
Philadelphai was led by Brendan Mundorf (2+4), who’s now only five assists behind team-leader Athan Iannucci (31) in the category. Iannucci (2+2) also posted two goals and two assists. Iannucci now has a commanding lead for his team in the goal scoring category with 29. Drew Westervelt (2+3) also was a presence for the Wings in the second half with five points, including two power-play goals. Brandon Miller, who got the start in net for Philadelphia tonight, was able to come up with 40 of the 53 shots Rochester took in the losing effort. Miller’s record now drops to (4-8).
Philadelphia was first to strike at 2:16 of the first quarter. Mundorf scored his ninth goal of the season with help from Iannucci and Alex Turner to take the 1-0 lead. The Knighthawks would respond with a trio of goals to take the 3-1 lead. The first came from Campbell with help from Jamieson and Evans at 4:27. Then, just under two minutes later, Vitarelli added two more for Rochester within one minute. The 2-1 go-ahead goal came at 6:13 when Davis sent a pass to Vitarelli from the leftside of the net. Vitarelli, who was right in front of Philadelphia netminder Miller then sent a shot soaring for the finish. His second goal then came at 7:10 after Evans flipped Vitarelli the ball from the left side, who was again ready to fire in front of Miller, extending the lead to 3-1. Hall and Williams also picked up assists on Vitarelli’s goals.
The Wings cooled Rochester’s momentum at the end of the first though, adding two unanswered goals in the final minutes of the quarter. Philly forward Ryan Boyle notched his first goal of the game after sending a shot from the top of the left point past Rochester goalie Vinc to make the score 3-2. Then, the evener came with one second to go in the quarter again from Boyle for his second goal of the night, doubling his season total (4).
Iannucci would then one-up the Knighthawks at the start of the second, taking the 4-3 lead for the Wings. Upon passes from Ryan McClelland and Paul Dawson, Iannucci made the diving shot for Philadelphia, which managed to slip over Vinc’s left shoulder.
Rochester and the Wings would then score back-and-forth goals to close the half. Rochester answered back and tied the contest at four at 2:58 of the second, the goal this time coming from Craig Point with help from Williams and Davis. Philadelphia would then take the lead back after a tally from Boyle, good for his third of the night, less than 30 seconds after Rochester had evened things out. The K-Hawks would add two more going into the half with back-to-back goals from Hall and Point. In the first of two, Hall took the shot from the top of the point after passes from Williams and Davis, who both have multi-point games. Rochester then would have the edge heading into the half after Point scored his 14th goal of the season, giving the K-Hawks the 6-5 lead.
The Wings tied the game and then took the lead after forward Westervelt scored his first goal of the night on the power play to even things out at six less than thirty seconds into the third quarter. At 2:44 Philadelphia took the lead in the back-and-forth matchup as Mundorf, who just assisted on the previous play, found the back of the net. Westervelt picked up his second point and 21st assist of the season on the goal.
Rochester and Philadelphia would then continue to answer each others’ goals in the rest of the quarter. Jamieson, who earned his team-leading 17th goal of the season and first of the night and Campbell, also earning his second goal in the contest helped the K-Hawks reach eight, while Westervelt, again on the power-play and David Brock, who earned his first goal of the night, closed the third with the 9-8 lead.
Rochester then started off scoring in the fourth quarter by putting in another handful of goals to take the 11-9 lead. Hall, Jamieson and Davis were the scorers for the unanswered tallies that were notched at 2:27, 6:20 and 9:02. In an attempt to slow down the K-Hawks rush, Iannucci scored the lone goal of the fourth quarter for the Wings to inch back within one with an 11-10 score.
The momentum wouldn’t stay in Philadelphia’s favor for long, as Campbell scored his third of the night less than 10 seconds later. Evans then netted his first of the night in the closing minute of the game to secure the win for Rochester.
Rochester will then host the Buffalo Bandits on Awards Night on Saturday, April 9th. The regular season home finale is a 7:35 p.m. start. The game will be broadcast live on The Zone 94.1 FM and http://www.thezone941.com. The first 3,000 fans will receive a Knighthawks Koozie, courtesy of AT&T. In addition, the first 5,000 fans will take home a Knighthawks rally towel.
Craig Rybczynski (454-5335 ext. 3008), Vice President of Communications
Warren Kosel (454-5335 ext. 3025), Manager of Communications & Lacrosse Operations
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