KNIGHTHAWKS OPEN SEASON WITH DOMINATING WINDec 9, 2017
(December 9, 2017)… The Rochester Knighthawks soared into the 2017-18 season with a dominating 17-6 win over the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday night at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
The Knighthawks were led by a balanced offense, as 11 players scored goals in one of the most dominating opening nights in team history. Dan Dawson led the way with three goals and three assists, while Joe Resetarits put up a six-point night (2+4).
“We really executed the game plan that the coaches wanted: that was get transition and play fast,” said Dawson. “We want to teams to know if you’re coming into this barn, you’re going to be in for a battle. We want to prove that it’s our home floor and we’re going to keep it.”
Rochester was also boosted by two-goal nights from Kyle Jackson (2+2), Cory Vitarelli (2+0) and Josh Currier (2+0). Cody Jamieson, Ian Llord, Luc Magnan, Dylan Evans and Brad Gillies each added single markers for the night.
“It was a huge win,” Jamieson said. “It feels good to make a statement like that. I know there were a lot of question marks from our team missing the playoffs two years in a row, but in that locker room we believe and we trust what we’ve got in there.”
Jamieson, who was activated Friday afternoon after suffering an ACL injury, picked up his 200th career goal in his first night back.
“It’s a testimony to how long I’ve been here now,” he said. “It feels good. Not many people can get to that milestone because there are so many young guys coming up. To be here that long and be able to score that many, it feels good.”
“He’s been missed,” said head coach Mike Hasen. “He came back tonight and gave us a bit of a boost. He’s a special player, so it was really nice to have him back tonight.”
Calgary’s Dan MacRae would open up scoring for the game, but it was all Rochester after that. Jackson answered back with a pair of goals to quickly get Rochester ahead and they never looked back. The team went on to score 10 more goals in the first half to take an 11-3 lead. A single third-quarter goal from Campbell turned into a fourth-quarter scoring run to give Rochester a 17-4 lead.
Several Knighthawks had record-setting nights. Jake Withers took charge in the faceoff circle, going 18-for-22 to set a franchise rookie record. Meanwhile, Matt Vinc had a stellar night in goal, making 40 saves. In the first quarter, he passed Bob Watson for second on the NLL’s all-time saves list. The Rochester defense also limited Calgary to six goals, which tied the franchise record for fewest goals scored in a game.
“He was on a mission,” Hasen said of Vinc. “It was a tough year last year and we’ve had this circled on the calendar since the schedule came out. We wanted to be better. Tonight he was and everybody was."