Knighthawks Move To 3-0 After Overcoming Warriors’ Early Attack
The Vancouver Warriors traveled across North America to face the Rochester Knighthawks, but didn’t look one bit jet-lagged. The Warriors were suffocating up and down the floor and their offense was humming in the first 15 minutes – they scored five goals in that first frame. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep up that pace for the final 45. Knighthawks goaltenders Rylan Hartley and Riley Hutchcraft were a big reason for that. Hartley was lights out after that shaky first quarter, but sadly left the game early in the third quarter after taking a hard shot to the face. Hutchcraft had to make his second relief appearance this season, and was unbeaten yet again – that’s just been his M.O. this season as the team’s backup. The Knighthawks used another strong second-half effort to propel themselves to another victory. For the second-straight season, the Knighthawks have started their year 3-0. They are one of only two undefeated 3-0 teams in the NLL right now. Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen also earned his 100th regular season head coaching win on this night, making him only the sixth head coach in NLL regular season history to reach that mark.
Longtime best friends Ryan Lanchbury and Ryan Smith each had huge games for the Knighthawks. Lanchbury posted two goals and five assists (the five assists were a career high) and Smith notched three goals and two assists.
Rock Close Out PCLC To Remain Undefeated
What appeared like it was going to be a run-and-gun Texas shootout on Friday night in Fort Worth became a methodical game of runs which saw the Rock cause the final blows to move to 2-0 this season. After a physical 4-3 first quarter, Panther City held the lead going into the second frame. The next 15 minutes would be almost entirely dominated by the Rock, and by halftime, they had pulled away to a 7-5 lead – that lead grew to 9-5 within the first few moments of the second half. However, it was at this point that PCLC said, “Enough is enough,” and they fought their way all the way back via a five-goal run from five different goal scorers that lasted just over 15 minutes. In the end, though, it was the Rock that rolled along to their second victory of the season. Not only did the Rock score the last four goals of the contest, but Nick Rose and the defense didn’t allow a goal over the final 8:53 of game time.
Mark Matthews had another stellar game. He posted three goals and three assists, while Mitch de Snoo arguably had the most complete game of the evening with 10 loose ball recoveries, four caused turnovers, two assists and one goal. On the other bench, Will Malcom lead the way with five points, and notched his 200th career regular season point. While PCLC didn’t get the win on Friday night, it was encouraging to see how balanced their offensive attack was – they had eight different goal scorers on their 10 goals.
Swarm Sting Mammoth In Dominating Road Effort
The Georgia Swarm will be wishing they played the Colorado Mammoth all year long after their 15-8 victory in Denver on Friday night. The Swarm are already 2-0 against the Mammoth this season, and they have outscored them 31-18 over those two matches. The Swarm burst out to a 3-0 lead within the opening five minutes of the game, but then surrendered that lead within the next six minutes allowing three goals of their own. Yet, from the 6:58 mark of the first quarter on, the Swarm had their way with last year’s NLL Cup runner up.
Heading into the second quarter with a 5-3 lead, Brett Dobson and the Swarm completely locked up the Mammoth before the halftime break. The Swarm goaltender stopped all nine shots on goal that he faced, and he got the win as his team’s lead was extended to 8-3 – the Swarm’s three goals of the second frame all came within a 48-second period. Dobson continued to thrive in between the pipes in the second half. In the fourth quarter alone, Dobson stopped 12 of the 14 shots on goal he saw, including one that will most-assuredly be a Save of the Year contender by the end of the season. The Swarm went on to cruise to the high victory thanks to their complete team effort.
Seth Oakes is finally finding his way in the NLL. He put up four goals on Friday, which was one of his best offensive outputs of his budding career. Shayne Jackson was the lead distributor on the night with his six assists, and Dobson ended his big night with 42 saves. For the Mammoth, Connor Robinson finished the night with a hat trick and newcomer Connor Kelley had another notable game with two goals and one assist.