Aug 8, 2016

Cory Vitarelli.jpg(August 8, 2016)… The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that they have re-signed Cory Vitarelli to a new three-year contract. The deal guarantees that the crafty forward will be a Knighthawk through the 2019 season.

“It feels great to be back with the Knighthawks,” he said. “I love the city and the fans. The team atmosphere is great from (Owner) Curt Styres down to the coaches and the players. I'm excited for next season.”

The man they call “Dogger” is coming off a campaign in which he finished fourth on the Knighthawks with 21 goals. He also chipped in 11 assists and 55 loose balls in 13 games. Vitarelli, who has been a consistent contributor to the Rochester offense, has now reached the 20-goal plateau in each of the last five seasons (2012-16).

The Peterborough, Ontario native has spent his entire career in Rochester since getting drafted by the Knighthawks in the fifth round of the 2006 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft. After breaking into the NLL in 2011, he has posted 130 goals and 84 assists for 214 points in 76 games. During the 2012 season, he scored a career-high 29 goals en route to a career-best 46 points. He was rewarded that year with his first of two straight team Unsung Hero awards.

Vitarelli is a rare blend of power and finesse. Not only can he open up the floor for his teammates, but he can score from anywhere on the floor.

“Cory brings a unique skill set to our offense,” said Knighthawks forward Joe Walters, who has played with Vitarelli for the past six seasons. “He is gritty and does all of the dirty work. He has great hands and is a proven scorer.”

The 31-year-old forward, who has earned a reputation for scoring highlight-reel goals, netted his biggest goal in the 2014 NLL East Division Finals against Buffalo. Vitarelli scored the game-winning goal to help Rochester return to the NLL Finals, which it won to complete the first three-peat in league history.

After winning three straight Champion’s Cups, Vitarelli’s string of titles stands at seven. His championships also include one Minto Cup with the Peterborough Junior Lakers and three Mann Cups with the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) Peterborough Lakers.

This summer, he is gearing up for the Knighthawks season by playing for the MSL’s top team, the Peterborough Lakers. During the regular season, he led Peterborough with 31 goals, which was second best in the league. Playing for Knighthawks coaches Mike Hasen and Paul Day in Peterborough, Vitarelli has again found his scoring touch, which is good news for Knighthawks fans.

“He is very important to our success in the past and moving forward,” said Day. “He has had a great summer and is a very big part of our team on and off the floor.” 

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