KNIGHTHAWKS A ‘MILE HIGH’ AFTER WINNING OT THRILLERApr 13, 2019
(April 12, 2019)… Kyle Jackson scored at 2:15 of overtime to give the Rochester Knighthawks a thrilling 10-9 victory over the Colorado Mammoth tonight at Pepsi Center. With the win, the Knighthawks have now won a season-high three straight games.
“It’s nice to keep it rolling. Everyone did their part, and everyone played a big role tonight,” said Austin Shanks in his return to the lineup. “Everyone kept their composure, and we went out there and won the game. We didn’t let it come to us; we went out there and took it.”
Rochester used a balanced offensive effort as it received goals from eight different players and was backstopped by Warren Hill, who finished with 38 saves. Ryan Benesch, in his first game back in Denver since the trade for Cory Vitarelli, powered the offense with a four-point (2+2) effort.
“Our focus is to keep getting better every game,” said a modest Benesch. “I think we accomplished that tonight. It was a good one.”
The win denied Colorado a chance to secure the fourth and final playoff spot in the West Division on its home turf. It was Shanks, who missed the previous five games, who gave Rochester a lift offensively as he scored two goals and added two assists. His first goal of the game broke a 4-4 tie and sparked a 4-0 run in the third quarter. Shanks also picked up two assists during the offensive outburst.
Shanks was one of two players who returned to the lineup tonight, as alternate captain Luc Magnan came back after a two-game absence.
“We had a lot of guys stepping up and making big plays,” said Jackson. “Having ‘Shanksy’ and ‘Mango’ back in definitely helped us.”
With Colorado threatening early in the fourth, Shanks scored one of the game’s biggest goals as he connected on a bouncer to the far post to stake Rochester to a 9-6 advantage. The Knighthawks would need that goal as the Mammoth netted a power-play marker at 12:31 and strung together two goals in 19 seconds to force overtime.
In the extra frame, Colorado’s Dillon Ward and Rochester’s Warren Hill both made stops in the opening minute. That set the stage for Jackson, who slipped past his defender and buried a shot past the left shoulder of Ward for the winner. Cody Jamieson, who assisted on the goal, chipped in three points, while Jake Withers posted two points (1+1) and won 17 faceoffs.
Jamieson’s goal just 26 seconds into the contest allowed the Knighthawks to grab a lead they would never relinquish. The Mammoth would tie the game three times but never could pull ahead of the resilient Knighthawks.
“This is one of the most close-knit teams I have ever played for,” said Jackson, who had two points. “It’s crazy to say that because we have only been together for a short period. We have won three straight games now, and it feels pretty good. The camaraderie is unlike anything I have ever been a part of.”