The Rochester Knighthawks fell to the Toronto Rock 12-9 in front of 5,439 at the Blue Cross Arena Saturday night. The Knighthawks fell to 2-6 while Toronto improved to 5-3. That was the Knighthawks’ sixth-straight loss, while Toronto has won five out of their last six.
The Knighthawks jumped out to a quick lead with Joe Resetarits scoring only eight seconds into the first quarter. Resetarits was the force to be reckoned with for Rochester, scoring four goals on the night. It marks the second-straight game where a Knighthawks forward scored four goals. Cory Vitarelli did the same against the Buffalo Bandits on February 3 in a 16-14 loss.
The Rock came back and tied the game less than a minute and a half on the power play with a goal by Reid Reinholdt. Reinholdt finished with four points on the night (1+3). That set the tone for special teams as Toronto punished the Knighthawks on the power play, going 4-for-5 for the night.
Rochester bounced back and scored twice in three minutes, starting with Graeme Hossack’s lone goal of the night and Resetarits following with his second.
However, the Rock would go on a four-goal run in eight minutes spanning the end of the first and start of the second quarters. Dan Craig got it started, and then Rob Hellyer tied the game at three. Craig and Hellyer both finished with two goals to lead Toronto.
Then the penalty problem reared its ugly head again. Hossack took a penalty right at the end of the first quarter with the game tied. Latrell Harris scored nine seconds into the second quarter to give the Rock their first lead of the night. Ian Llord took a penalty 48 seconds into the quarter, and Brett Hickey scored 20 seconds into that power play to make it 5-3.
Resetarits completed his hat trick on the power play 7:41 into the second, and Dylan Evans scored shorthanded (the only power play that Toronto failed to score on) to tie the game with under five minutes remaining in the half.
Craig opened the scoring in the second half but Josh Currier responded a minute later to tie. Then Brad Gillies continued the trend of the Knighthawks scoring in transition to retake the lead.
That would be Rochester’s last lead of the game. The Rock responded with a three-goal run that kicked off 3:06 later with Brodie Merrill finishing in transition after goalie Matt Vinc had stoned him on two previous trips down the floor. Hellyer picked up his second 2:10 later, and Kieran McArdle scored with 1:17 left in the third.
It took almost five minutes into the fourth, but Cody Jamieson scored his only goal of the game with the extra attacker on a delayed penalty to bring Rochester back within one.
Then the Rock power play struck 1:12 later when Adam Jones made it a two goal game. Special teams was not done on the night, though. Rochester finished 2-3 with their final power play goal coming off the stick of Resetarits after a great pass by Dan Dawson from behind the net.
Then came one of the most inexplicable decisions on the night. With the Knighthawks within one, head coach Mike Hasen pulled Vinc out of the net for the extra attacker with over 1:30 left in the game. Brock Sorensen took advantage after a save by goalie Nick Rose and scored on the empty net with 1:14 left in the game. That forced Rochester to keep Vinc out of the net when the chance came, and Billy Hostrawser scored the Rock’s second empty-net goal of the night with 26 seconds left.
Rochester takes on the Georgia Swarm Sunday night in Georgia. Toronto heads down to Georgia to take on the Swarm Saturday February 17.
Three stars as voted by the media:
- Reid Reinholdt
- Joe Resetarits
- Dan Craig