As the Rochester Knighthawks took to the turf for their second home game of the season on Saturday night, a new face began to make a name for himself as a Knighthawk – forward Joel Matthews.
After being activated prior to the matchup, Matthews showcased his strength and scoring ability in the 8-6 victory over the Toronto Rock.
“It feels great,” Matthews said. “Last year, I only got in two games and the two games were against Rochester. It was a little weird coming and playing for the other side, but it was awesome. All the guys have welcomed me with open arms. (There’s a) great team camaraderie.”
Matthews is playing in his second National Lacrosse League season and he has played in three games, putting up four points (3+1) and collecting six loose balls.
The former fourth-round 2012 draft pick played the 2014 season with the Buffalo Bandits, appearing in two games, coincidentally both against Rochester. But, on Saturday night, the 24-year-old righty was playing with the Knighthawks rather than against them. He fit right in with his new team.
“It’s really easy to transition into your role when you’ve got guys being really positive and backing you up,” Matthews said. “The crowd was amazing. Just all those things make it easier to feel comfortable to do your job. That’s all I was trying to do all night was just do my job and do what the coaches asked me to do.”
After a two-point effort (1+1), the coaching staff were satisfied with the physical play that he provided to help the Knighthawks get the victory. After taking a feed from Joe Walters, Matthews did a spin move around two Toronto defenders to bounce the ball to the back of the net…