The Rochester Knighthawks kicked off their 25th season in style with an impressive win over the Philadelphia Wings. On a historic night the Knighthawks honored their 25th season as a franchise with celebrating their All-Time Team before the game on Saturday. Knighthawks fans were given the honor of voting on their favorite players from the past and also the present to make up the team. Some formers players who were honored at the ceremony were future NLL Hall of Famer forward John Grant Jr. and former goalie of the Knighthawks, Pat O’Toole. O’Toole received one of the biggest ovations from the ceremony and was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013. Present day Knighthawks who made the Knighthawks All-Time Team were Cody Jamieson and Sid Smith.
The Knighthawks (1-0) started out quickly with a goal scored by forward Quinn Powless on assists by Austin Shanks and Brandon Robinson at the 5:26 mark of the first quarter. Just over a minute later Cory Vitarelli moved into 4th place all-time on the Knighthawks goal scoring list with his 170th goal in a Knighthawks uniform. Vitarelli answered with his 171th goal at the 8:45 mark to make it 3-0. With a pair of goals by Cody Jamieson the Knighthawks led 5-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Wings (0-2) got their scoring for the night started with a quick goal by forward Chris Cloutier at the beginning of the second quarter. Which was then followed by 3 straight Knighthawks goals by Kyle Jackson, Brandon Robinson, and Austin Shanks to make it 8-1. Philadelphia would tack on another goal by Blaze Riorden before halftime to make it 8-2.
The Knighthawks offense would simmer down only a little bit in the 2nd half scoring 5 goals in the half. Goals coming from Austin Shanks, Joe Resetarits, Brandon Robinson, Cory Vitarelli, and Cody Jamieson.
Philadelphia was able to capitalize on a few Knighthawks mistakes and outscored them 7-5 in the 2nd half but only getting within 4 goals of Rochester for the rest of the night. A pair of goals coming from Chris Cloutier, Brett Hickey, and also Vaughn Harris with Josh Currier adding one goal in the 2nd half.
Rochester would go on to beat Philadelphia by the final score of 13-9. This now improves the Knighthawks opening night record to 13-12 all-time in their 25 season history.
Cody Jamieson picked up right where he left off last season with another strong game tonight to start the season off on the right foot. Jamieson had 6 points tonight with 3 goals and also 3 assists being a force on the offensive side of the ball all game long.
“He had a different look in his eye at the start of training camp this year and I really believe he can do some special things this year.” Knighthawks Head Coach Mike Hasen said after the game to the media. Hasen was also proud of his players to come out and perform the way that they did with the shortened training camp because of the lockout.
Next up for the Knighthawks is a big test right out of the gate with their longest road trip of the season where they travel the arch-rival Buffalo next week on Jan 5. to face the Bandits at KeyBank Center. This is also the first time Rochester plays against their former goalie Matt Vinc who signed with the Bandits this past offseason.
Rochester will then travel to California a week later to face off against the new expansion team, The San Diego Seals on Jan 12th. The road trip ends with a rematch of the National Lacrosse League Final against the Saskatchewan Rush where the Knighthawks look to seek revenge after their Game 3 loss to the Rush in last season’s League Final
Three Stars of the Game as chosen by the media:
- Cody Jamieson
- Austin Shanks
- Cory Vitarelli