KNIGHTHAWKS RALLY AGAIN TO BEAT BUFFALOMar 25, 2017
(March 25, 2017)… The Rochester Knighthawks used a dominating fourth quarter to defeat the East Division rival Buffalo Bandits 11-10 on Saturday night at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
The two teams put on an entertaining show for the special guests in attendance as they celebrated Military Appreciation night and honored the 10-year anniversary of the 2007 championship team prior to the game.
“That’s how we’ve got to be,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen, who played on the 2007 Knighthawks. “We’ve got to grind these games out. The games against Buffalo are great games and we’ve played our best lacrosse against them the past two games. We’ve just got to keep going.”
Kyle Jackson had a stellar night, putting up a team-high eight points (3+5). Dan Dawson posted a pair of goals and added four helpers on the night. Joe Resetarits had three goals and two assists to finish with five points and reach the 200-point plateau in his career. Dan Lomas had three points (1+2), while Cory Vitarelli and Brad Gillies each pitched in a goal. Gillies’ marker with 2:05 left in the game was the eventual game-winner for the purple and teal.
“It was a great character win for our team and it was a win we desperately needed,” said Jackson. “It was nice to see some big guys step up in some big moments. The fans here are unbelievable and that last five minutes or so the crowd was as loud as it’s ever been. It really helped us rally back and get the win.”
The Knighthawks took an early with Resetarits firing it past Buffalo goaltender Anthony Cosmo less than a minute into the game. Dawson was up next to get the team ahead by two but the Bandits went on a run of their own to close out the first half with a 6-3 lead over Rochester.
“Right now we’re playing for our playoff lives,” Resetarits said. “We knew this was going to be a dog fight. It always is when we’re playing Buffalo. We said this wasn’t going to be easy but we played a whole 60 minutes. We stuck to our game plan and kept battling.”
The two teams traded goals throughout the third, but the Knighthawks rallied in the fourth with six goals to complete the comeback. The turning point of the game was early in the fourth when Rochester scored three goals in just 59 seconds to tie the game at eight. After Buffalo tied it, Jackson scored back-to-back goals to give the Knighthawks a 10-9 lead with 4:01 to play. Following another Buffalo tally, Gillies scored in transition to make it 11-10.
“Everyone had a game today and that’s what we needed,” Jackson said. “We needed to win and I was glad to see that everyone stepped up.”
Rochester now holds the tiebreaker between the two teams and sits one half game behind Buffalo for fourth place.
“This is a game where it’s a matter of swings and a matter of seconds,” Resetarits said. “We knew (being down) three goals going into the fourth was nothing. Tonight was huge and we’ve got to build off of it.”
“Every time we step on the floor it is a must-win game from here on out,” Hasen said. “Tonight was another great effort from top to bottom.”
The Knighthawks will be home again on Saturday, April 1 to take on Calgary at 7:30 p.m.