(Philadelphia, January 14)… The Rochester Knighthawks used one of the best offensive efforts in their 18-year history tonight in a 22-12 victory over the Philadelphia Wings. Jordan Hall tied his career-high with nine points in a game that also featured over 200 penalty minutes. It was a milestone night for a handful of Rochester players, as three Knightawks had nine-point nights.
Hall scored twice and added seven assists, while Cody Jamieson set career bests in assists (five) and points (nine). Mike Accursi joined the nine-point club with a three-goal, six-assist night. Cory Vitarelli scored a career-high five goals in a six-point effort. Meanwhile, Travis Hill got into the goal-scoring column with a career-high two goals. The 22-goal effort was just two goals short of tying the team record of 24 set in 2002.
The battle of the top picks in the NLL went to the Knighthawks as Johnny Powless scored three times and added two assists and Stephen Keogh netted two goals and chipped in two assists. Keogh was the second overall pick, while Powless was the fifth selection. The No. 1 overall pick was Kevin Crowley, who led the Wings with three goals and five assists.
Dan Dawson (6+1) and Mike Hominuck (2+3) each had big games offensively. Goalie Brandon Miller was pulled after 36:06 minutes of play and was replaced by Kurtis Wagar, who posted 26 saves on 39 shots. The game was the first of three meetings between the two teams. The Knighthawks now lead the series with a 24-15 record.
Rochester came soaring out of the gate with the first two goals of the game to take a quick 2-0 lead. The first came from transition man Jordan Hall at 2:02 and the second came from Cody Jamieson assisted by Jarrett Davis at 5:38 on a shot that sneaked past the stick side of Philadelphia goalie Brandon Miller.
Philadelphia put its first point of the board at 5:49 on a breakaway goal for Max Seibald. Rochester continued its momentum after Seibald’s goal, scoring the next four with two coming from rookies Keogh and Powless. Keogh scored his first regular season NLL goal, increasing Rochester’s lead to 3-1 as he came across a pick and went five-hole on Miller. Next, Powless seared a shot from the left point scoring top shelf. Hill then scored making it 5-1 Knighthawks. The last goal of the first quarter came from Vitarelli at 14:51 as he one-handed a shot past Miller for a 6-1 lead.
The tables quickly turned in favor of Philadelphia as the Wings started the second quarter with five straight goals to tie the score at six. After Drew Westervelt opened the quarter with a quick strike just 22 second in, the Wings strung together four more goals. The rally was fueled by a five-minute cross-checking penalty by Hall. Crowley had two of the goals, while Hominuck and Dawson netted single tallies. Rochester then regained the momentum with three straight goals. The first was a power-play goal by Jamieson at 8:29, which was followed by a goal by Mike Accursi at 9:24, and a power-play goal by Keogh at 13:14.
The Knighthawks will host the Buffalo Bandits (1-0) in their home opener at 7:30 p.m. at The Blue Cross. The Knighthawks will honor their Millionth Fan on Saturday, January 21st with a trip for two to Las Vegas (hotel, airfare and $2,000 cash). The Knighthawks will raffle off a second trip to Vegas (hotel and airfare) between the third and fourth quarters. Fans have until halftime to register at the Guest Services Booth. The first 5,000 fans will receive a T-shirt. Knighthawks individual tickets are on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, and at The Blue Cross Arena Box Office or by calling 1-800-745-3000.–