The Knighthawks going into Saturday’s game vs Vancouver were on a season high three-game winning streak and had a record of 5-11 and no chance of making the playoffs, as New England had claimed the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division two weeks ago.
The Knighthawks took down Vancouver 18-6 at Blue Cross Arena for their fourth win in a row.
The Knighthawks took no time scoring in this game with Mike Burke scoring just 16 seconds into the game. That was then followed by a Knighthawks goal just 27 seconds later coming from Austin Shanks. After a goal by Vancouver to make the score 2-1, it was all Knighthawks in the first quarter. Kyle Jackson added his 26th and 27th goals of the season while Ryan Benesch and Cody Jamieson added to the Knighthawks goal count in the first quarter. Vancouver, however, was able to tack on a goal near the end of the quarter to make it 6-2 in favor of Rochester going into the second quarter.
Mike Burke would add his second goal of the game almost five minutes into the second quarter to give the Knighthawks their five-goal lead back. The Knighthawks would add onto their lead with back to back goals coming from Ryan Benesch to give himself a hat trick in the second quarter and the Knighthawks a 9-2 lead. Vancouver would add a goal but it was followed by Kyle Jackson’s third goal of the game to also give himself a hat trick in the first half. Vancouver would add another goal but the Knighthawks would hold a 10-4 lead going into halftime.
The Knighthawks would start the second half the way they started the first half by scoring an early goal from Chris Boushy. Ryan Benesch would add his fourth goal of the night and his 30th goal of the season to add to the Knighthawks lead. The offensive wagon would keep going with a goal from Jake Withers. Vancouver, however, scored at the end of the third quarter to cut Rochester’s advantage to 13-5.
The fourth quarter was all Rochester once again. The offense got started in thanks to Austin Shanks. Kyle Jackson would add his fourth goal of the game to push the lead to 15-5. Mike Burke would be the third Knighthawks player to have a hat trick which was then followed by Ryan Benesch’s fifth goal of the night. Vancouver would add another goal but Rochester’s 18th and final goal would come from Graeme Hossack and propel Rochester to an 18-6 win over Vancouver. Warren Hill yet again his worth behind the net with 53 saves.
With the win, Rochester knocks Vancouver out of the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division and, in turn, helps Colorado clinch the final berth.
Next up for the Knighthawks is their season finale at home against New England. This will be Rochester’s last game before moving to Halifax next season and before a new expansion team comes to Rochester next season. Emotions will definitely be high next weekend with fans hoping the Knighthawks can close out their 25th season with a fifth straight win.
Faceoff is set for 8:00pm ET at Blue Cross Arena next Saturday, April 27th.
Three Stars of the Night:
- Warren Hill (Rochester)
- Ryan Benesch (Rochester)
- Kyle Jackson (Rochester)