The Rochester Knighthawks seek their second-straight win when they welcome the league-best Sasketchewan Rush to the Blue Cross Arena for a Saturday night showdown on February 17 at 7:30p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on NLLTV.com.
The Knighthawks (3-6) snapped their six-game losing streak on the back-half of their weekend doubleheader, defeating the Georgia Swarm 17-10. The Knighthawks offense struggled during the streak, but they broke out in a big way versus Georgia despite not having Dan Dawson not in the lineup. Joe Resetarits led all scorers with eight points (1+7) while teammate Austin Shanks was right behind him with seven (1+6), and both Cody Jamieson and Kyle Jackson scored four goals.
Not only did the offense put up big numbers, but they were able to score timely goals as well, preventing the Swarm from going on big runs. Georgia’s biggest run of the night was three, and that only happened once while only mustering two-goal runs twice.
Meanwhile, the Rush (8-1) come to the BCA for the only time this season after defeating the Vancouver Stealth 16-9 in their last game out. The Rush got up big early, scoring the game’s first six goals and nine of the first 10. Robert Church led all scorers with an eight-point night (3+5) while Curtis Knight scored four goals. Meanwhile, goalie Evan Kirk stopped 38 of the 47 shots he saw over the game.
While Rochester hopes their season took a turn for the better with the win over the Swarm, they will have their hands full with Sasketchewan coming to town. The Rush have been a potent offense, leading the league with 139 goals, 11 more than the next-best offense.
Yet the game will come down to the men between the pipes. Matt Vinc and Kirk are neck-and-neck for both goals-against-average and save percentage. Kirk has a slightly better GAA at 10.95 to Vinc’s 11.19, but Vinc gets the nod with a .787 save percentage to Kirk’s .780. Either goalie could be the one to get hot early and backstop their team to a win.
While this is not a divisional game, a win for Rochester would get them closer to the third and final playoff spot as the second half of the season gets underway. Hard to imagine that they can still see third place after a six-game losing streak, but the top three teams are not breaking away from the pack. Meanwhile, the Rush lead the league by two wins and the West by three. A win for Sasketchewan tightens their stranglehold on the top spot.