The Rochester Knighthawks (1-8) will face the visiting New York Riptide (1-9) in what will be the first and only meeting between the two expansion franchises this season at 7 p.m. ET at Blue Cross Arena on what is also Military Appreciation Night.
Both the Knighthawks and Riptide have struggled in their first seasons, but will be playing for bragging rights in what should be a very competitive game.
The Knighthawks had a tough road game in New England last Saturday that saw them have more penalties than goals scored as the Black Wolves won 18-7. Ryan Hartley got his second career start in net making 41 saves before being relieved by Craig Wende who finished the game. Lefty Forward Holden Cattoni continues to be a bright spot for the Knighthawks as he notched 3 goals in the loss. Recent addition Mark Cockerton also added 2 assists for his first points with the Knighthawks this season.
Since last weekend, the Knighthawks have made some roster moves by sending righty Forward Dan Lintner and Transition player Frank Brown to the Buffalo Bandits in exchange for righty Forwards Thomas Hoggarth and Dallas Bridle as well as second and third-round picks in the 2020 Draft.
Hoggarth had a breakout year in 2019 for the Bandits as he racked up 64 points and was one of the best inside finishers in the NLL, but he does not offer immediate help for the Knighthawks as he is still recovering from an injury he sustained in the summer. 24 year old Bridle has seen limited time with the Bandits, but could provide a spark on offense right away with his new opportunity in Rochester.
The Knighthawks have played well in their past few home games and with it being Military Appreciation Night there is extra incentive to get the win for the Rochester crowd.
The Riptide have had a very similar season to the Knighthawks and even won their only game against the Georgia Swarm on the same day Rochester got their first win against the Calgary Roughnecks on Jan. 18. They also recently made a roster move by trading away their leading scorer in Tyler Digby to the Colorado Mammoth for second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts. New York seems to be planning ahead for future seasons, but that doesn’t mean they won’t put out a strong effort the rest of this year.
The Riptide still boast a capable offense with leading scorer Connor Kelly, a dynamic American playing his second ever season of box lacrosse, who has 30 points as well as Dan Lomas (29 pts), rookie Tyson Gibson (28 pts), and Jean Luc-Chetner (27 pts). They also have veteran defenders in Dan MacRae and Andrew Suitor who are doing their best to lead this new franchise. Goalie Alex Buque will likely start, but has league low numbers of 14.01 Goals Against and a .740 Save Percentage.
The Riptide will be coming off of playing Friday night on Long Island before making the trip to Rochester to play the Knighthawks. In the NLL, teams playing back-to-backs tend to play well in their second game because they are still in their groove from the night before so the Riptide may come out strong to start, which the Knighthawks will have to match.
This game will mark the beginning of the second half of the season for the Knighthawks. After what has been a disappointing start with several 1-2 goal and overtime losses, they have a great chance to start it off on the right foot with a strong performance on Saturday.
Opening face-off is set for 7 p.m. ET Saturday night. The game can be watched with a subscription on the B/R Live app, which is available on the web or through iTunes, Google Play, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire.