KNIGHTHAWKS ACTIVATE CORY VITARELLIFeb 2, 2017
(February 2, 2017)… The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that the team has activated forward Cory Vitarelli from the injured reserve list. He is expected to make his 2017 debut on Friday as the Knighthawks battle the New England Black Wolves at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“It has taken a long time to get 100 percent healthy,” he said. “I am excited and eager to get out there, find my timing, chip in and help our team get a ‘W’ this weekend.”
Vitarelli joins a left side that features three rookies in Kyle Jackson, Dan Lomas and Wayne Van Every. Jackson and Lomas are among the team leaders in points and the addition of a proven veteran leader like Vitarelli can only bode well for the youngsters.
“I'm very excited to have the chance to play alongside ‘Vit,’ said Lomas. “He's one of the smartest, most natural goal scorers I've seen play the game. I've always admired the way he does things. He's a guy we've really missed in the lineup, so it's a big boost for us to get him back.”
Vitarelli has been equally impressed with the play of this year’s rookie class, especially fellow lefties Jackson and Lomas.
“I have watched them both play and they are both talented players,” said Vitarelli. “They’re smart players; they are in the league for a reason. I bring experience and can be there to be a calming influence at the right times.”
A former fifth-round selection by the Knighthawks, Vitarelli is one of the biggest steals in National Lacrosse League Entry Draft history. The 31-year-old forward has been one of the franchise’s most consistent scorers since breaking into the league in 2011, notching consecutive 20-goal seasons from 2012-16. In 76 games, “Dogger” has posted 130 goals and 84 assists for 214 points.
Vitarelli also brings a winning acumen to the lineup, having won at every level. In fact, he was a key contributor to the Knighthawks’ historic run to three straight Champion’s Cups from 2012-14. Many of his goals have been of the highlight-reel variety, which includes his behind-the-back goal in the 2014 NLL Champion’s Cup Finals.
The Peterborough, Ontario native has twice been honored by the Knighthawks as the team’s Unsung Hero, earning the award during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. In 2013, he notched a career-high 19 assists and was second on the team in goals (25) and third in points (44). Vitarelli’s return bolsters a lineup that welcomed back forward Dan Dawson and transition man Andrew Suitor last Saturday.
“He will help our offense because he doesn't need the ball (to be successful),” said Knighthawks assistant coach Paul Day. “He is also a great shooter and the best inside player we have.”