TBT: CONTEST WINNER WITNESSES PLAYOFF-CLINCHING WINMay 10, 2018
Ryan Konko and guests traveled to Buffalo in style, courtesy of Wilkins RV
By Andrea Chevalier -- When the Rochester Knighthawks and Buffalo Bandits play, there’s bound to be energy from both the players and fans. April 28 was no exception as Rochester took on the Bandits in the final meeting of the regular season.
With playoff implications on the line, one special Knighthawks fan traveled down the Thruway to watch his favorite team play. The Knighthawks, who teamed up with Wilkins RV for another season, provided Ryan Konko and his friends with a luxury trip to Buffalo to see the biggest rivalry in the National Lacrosse League.
Konko has been coming to Knighthawks games since he was a young boy. His parents had season tickets when he was younger, and he took over their seats a few years ago. When he got the news that he had won the RV trip to watch the final game of the season, he was filled with nothing but excitement.
“It was a great time,” said Konko, who won the Road Trip with the Knighthawks contest. “Jeff (Briggs) from Wilkins RV hooked us up with an awesome RV and took care of everything we needed. We didn't have to worry about traffic or parking, and we had a good time with friends – going to and from the game. The seats were awesome, and we sat right around other Knighthawks fans. The game was close at times, but getting the win in Banditland made it so much better.”
The East Division tilt proved to be an exciting one, with both teams never letting up on the intensity. By halftime, Rochester was up by just one goal, and both teams needed the win to move on to the playoffs. Ryan and his group were enjoying the atmosphere in the KeyBank Center as fans from both sides filled the arena with a playoff-like atmosphere.
“We’re having an awesome time,” Konko said at halftime. “The arena is going crazy, and we’re enjoying ourselves.”
With one minute left in the final quarter, the Knighthawks had a one-goal lead (14-13), and the fans were going wild. Knighthawks fans exploded with excitement as Kyle Jackson scored a security goal on an empty Buffalo net to seal the win and clinch a playoff berth for the first time since the 2015 season.
“If I could pick any team for the Knighthawks to beat to get into the playoffs, it would be the Bandits,” said Konko. “The rivalry is one of the best in the league, and the fact that we got in and eliminated them made it even more enjoyable."