Rochester, NY- The New Jersey Storm ended a 15-game home winning streak for the host Rochester Knighthawks dating back to 2000-2001 season with a 13-11 comeback victory tonight at the Blue Cross Arena in both teams' season opener. In front of 9,283, the Storm battled back from a 10-9 deficit with just 2:23 left to play in the fourth quarter. New Jersey came back to score four unanswered goals in a span of 1:23 en route to the two-goal victory. Forward Bryan Bendig sealed the victory for the Storm, scoring the game-winner with 1:13 left in regulation.
Scott Stewart tiptoes into the crease as he tries to put the ball past Rochester's Pat O'Toole. Game action photo credit: 20 TOE Photo
Newly acquired forward and Game MVP Roy Colsey notched 8 points (5G, 3A) for New Jersey in his team debut.
Storm defender Gordon Purdie was tops in face-offs with 14 wins to his credit including five-consecutive victories late in the fourth quarter to help gain the much needed possession for New Jersey. Net minder Matt Roik recorded the victory (1-0) with a 36-save performance. Rochester was the #1 ranked team in most pre-season polls.
Forward John Grant paced the Rochester offense with a four-point performance (1G, 3A). Curt Malawsky also chipped in three goals as well. Goalie Pat O'Toole (0-1) suffered the loss in net despite 41 saves.
The Storm returns to action next Saturday in their home opener against the Columbus Landsharks at 7:30 p.m. The first 2,500 in attendance will receive a 2002-2003 Storm team poster. Eight-game and four-game season ticket plans and McFamily Plans are on sale now by calling 1-866-NJ STORM. Individual game tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster locations, the Continental Airlines Arena box office, by 201-507-8900, or by logging on to Ticketmaster.com.