The Knighthawks (2-6) going into Friday’s game needed to treat this game as a must win. Sitting at 5th Place in the East Division and the final East playoff spot belonging to Georgia who are at (7-4) the Knighthawks have an uphill battle to get back to the playoffs. On Friday night it would be the Knighthawks and Bandits 3rd and final matchup between each other this season. The last time the Knighthawks faced the Bandits it was an offensive showcase for both teams in which Rochester won but it was also a very physical game in Rochester. In a game which saw many penalty minutes and fights the scene was set for another physical game at the Blue Cross Arena.
The first quarter did not see too much action for the Knighthawks. The Knighthawks would strike first in the game with a goal coming Austin Shanks at the 10:46 mark of the first quarter. That was Shanks 8th goal against the Bandits this season. The Bandits would tie it late in the 1st with a goal coming from Thomas Hoggarth. Hoggarth would add his second goal of the night less than 2 minutes later on a power play goal. Bandits forward Dhane Smith would add on to Buffalo’s lead with goal of his own a minute later. The Bandits would have a 3-1 lead after the first quarter.
Buffalo would make it 4-1 early in the 2nd quarter with Dhane Smith’s second goal of the night and Shawn Evans would also add a goal for Buffalo to make it 5-1. Cody Jamieson would get Rochester on the board in the 2nd with his 17th goal of the season to make 5-2. Austin Shanks 9th goal against the Bandits would cut the Knighthawks deficit to 5-3 and with a goal by Graeme Hossack the Knighthawks were only down a goal at 5-4. The Knighthawks would tie the game with their 4th unanswered goal coming from Scott Campbell. The tie would be short lived when Jordan Durston gave the Bandits the lead right back at 6-5 which would be the score at halftime.
The Bandits would open the scoring in the second half with a goal coming from Chris Cloutier to make it 7-5. Rochester would quickly answer with a goal coming from Eric Fannell with his first goal of the season. Which would quickly turn into both teams trading goals with the Bandits getting a goal from Chase Fraser and the Knighthawks getting a goal from Brad Gillies to make it 8-7 in favor of the Bandits. However, after a few minutes of no scoring in the 3rd the Bandits would yet again to make 9-7 with a goal coming from Shawn Evans 2nd goal of the night. Buffalo would then score 3 more unanswered to make it 12-7 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Cory Vitarelli would score for the Knighthawks to open up scoring in the 4th quarter with his 16th goal of the season to make it 12-8 however it would be all Buffalo after that. After another goal there would be a game misconduct on Knighthawks Eric Flannel, Buffalo was then able to tack on a few more goals. The Bandits would go on to win 16-9.
For the Knighthawks who are now (2-7) it is looking like a lost season going into March. The Knighthawks will be in Atlanta to face the Georgia Swarm (7-4) on Saturday, March 2. Faceoff is set for 7:05 P.M. at the Infinite Energy Center.
Three Stars of the Night:
- Shawn Evans (BUF)
- Dhane Smith (BUF)
- Chase Fraser (BUF)