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Stories/Op-Ed

Knight Flight: ‘Hawks Over Black Wolves, 17-13

The Rochester Knighthawks (5-5) bounced back from last night’s road loss to earn a weekend split with a 17-13 home win over the New England Black Wolves (5-4) in front of 7,589 fans at the Blue Cross Arena on Saturday night. Stephen Keogh scored six goals for the Knighthawks while Dan Dawson added five tallies of his own.

Pat Saunders opened the scoring for the Black Wolves 4:55 into the game with a 5-on-3 advantage as both Sid Smith and Dylan Evans were in the box. Then with 6:05 left in the first and 44 seconds left in Evans’ major penalty, Jordan Hall scored in his first game back at the BCA as a member of the Black Wolves. New England continued their run as Kevin Crowley extended the lead to 3-0 with 4:43 left in the first. 

Dylan Evans committed his second five-minute major of the game and was assessed a game misconduct. The Black Wolves made the Knighthawks pay on the five-minute man advantage as Shawn Evans scored with 3:24 left in the first. Kyle Buchanan scored 51 seconds later to end the man advantage and give the Black Wolves a 5-0 lead. 

Joe Resetarits snapped the Black Wolves’ run with 1:46 left. Stephen Keogh got off a hard shot that Evan Kirk stopped but Resetarits snagged the rebound at the top of the crease and dove to score. 

The Black Wolves answered back 33 seconds later to retake the five-goal lead on Saunders’ second of the quarter. A floor-length shot by the Knighthawks went just wide of the empty net at the last second and the Black Wolves took the 6-1 lead into the intermission.

Brett Manney went into the box only 11 seconds into the second quarter for the Black Wolves and Dan Dawson made them pay 55 seconds in. Then 12 seconds later Cody Jamieson scored off the faceoff to cut the lead to 6-3. With 12:12 left in the quarter, Dawson slipped past a defender and scored his second of the night. Cory Vitarelli got open outside the crease and put a shot short-side that had to be reviewed but was ruled to have gone in to bring the Knighthawks within one with 11:47 left in the quarter. 

Buchanan picked up his second of the night to halt the Knighthawks’ 5-0 run with 9:44 left to give the Black Wolves their two-goal lead. Cory Vitarelli answered back six seconds later after the Knighthawks won the faceoff to close the gap to one. 

With 7:37 left in the quarter, the Black Wolves extended their lead to two as Saunders completed his hat trick. On the following faceoff, Bill O’Brien high-sticked Jamieson after Jamieson got chippy. O’Brien got sent off for five minutes while Jamieson was assessed a two-minute penalty.

Only nine seconds in to O’Brien’s five-minute major, Dawson scored his third goal of the night to cut the lead to one. With 5:54 left in the quarter and 3:18 left in the major, Keogh scored his second of the night to tie the game at 8. The Knighthawks appeared to take the lead with 4:39 left after Dawson sent Resetarits in on goal with a beautiful behind-the-back pass, but the Black Wolves challenged and Resetarits was ruled to have been down in the crease before the ball crossed the goal line. 

The Knighthawks did take the lead for the first time with 3:11 left in the quarter on Jamieson’s second goal of the night. 46 seconds later, Keogh scored his second goal of the night to give the Knighthawks the 10-8 lead. The Black Wolves were unable to score with Kirk pulled and the Knighthawks took the lead into halftime. 

Brett Bucktooth got the Black Wolves within one of the Knighthawks 1:15 into the third quarter. Crowley picked up his second goal to tie the game at 10 with 4:49 left in the third. Sid Smith took a penalty and 17 seconds into the power play, Evans scored his second fo the night to give the Black Wolves the lead again. 

Keogh tied the game with his third of the night with 3:09 left in the third. Then he scored his fourth 26 seconds later to give the Knighthawks the lead again. Dawson scored his fourth with 1:23 to play in the third for a two-goal Knighthawks lead. The Black Wolves pulled Kirk for Tye Belanger. The Knighthawks pulled goalie Matt Vinc to bring out the extra attacker for a last-second shot but it went wide and they took the 13-11 lead into the intermission.

Keogh scored his sixth of the game 24 seconds into the fourth quarter to give the Knighthawks the 14-11 lead, their biggest lead of the night. Buchanan scored his second of the night with 8:54 left in the fourth to halt the Knighthaw’s three-goal run going back to the third quarter. Joe Walters answered back with his first of the night to extend the Knighthawks’ lead to three with 7:48 to go in regulation. Walters finished the night with 8 points (1, 7).

The Black Wolves answered back in transition with 5:56 to go in the fourth as Buchanan completed his hat trick. Dawson scored his fifth of night only 34 seconds later to give the Knighthawks a 16-13 lead. Vitarelli completed his hat trick with 3:05 left in regulation to push the Knighthawks lead to four. 

Three Stars of the Game:

1) Dan Dawson
2) Stephen Keogh
3) Pat Saunders

By Jeremy Pike for NLL.com. Photo by Micheline Veluvolu.

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