Apr 6, 2019

DSC_9354.JPGBy Mitchell Courtney -- For the second straight year, the Knighthawks were proud to hold their annual Cradle for the CURE game. Tonight’s contest against the Toronto Rock held playoff implications, but the pregame focus was on those who are battling cancer and those who have recently emerged victorious against the disease.

On hand to participate in the ceremonial faceoff and treatment bell ringing were CURE Executive Director Holly Dutcher, various CURE representatives and cancer survivors 13-month-old Joel Spuck, and Craig Winter and Sam Gigliotta, both 9, and their families.

During the game, the Knighthawks and the Rock both sported specially designed uniforms to be auctioned off following the game, with proceeds benefitting CURE Childhood Cancer Association. Dutcher noted that the event is of importance because it assists in the spread of awareness.

“The team has just been phenomenal to work with,” she said. “They have helped us in raising awareness for the kids who need our help. Childhood cancer is something that people do not always want to think about, but it is something that is happening in this community and around the world.”

After the ceremonies, the Knighthawks kicked off a first quarter filled with stout defense ended in a 2-2 tie, with the Knighthawks getting 11 saves from Warren Hill and goals from Kyle Jackson and Darryl Robertson. Hill, who made his second start in as many games, was proud that he could be somebody that the team relied on in big moments.

“It has meant a lot to me to get a shot to perform here in Rochester,” he said. “I have always felt like this place is home and I am glad to be in this situation.”

Cody Jamieson capitalized on a Kyle Jackson feed to open the second quarter for Rochester, giving Jackson 95 career assists. Following Jamieson’s goal, he assisted on the second goal of the quarter; a top-shelf missile from veteran Mike Burke.

DSC_9411.JPGRochester’s fifth tally was Colton Armstrong’s third goal of the season and the second goal that Warren Hill assisted on in the first half. A string of goals including two from Ryan Benesch put the Knighthawks up by a score of 7-3 at halftime.

Two more goals from Mike Burke and Benesch’s third of the game came early in the third quarter as Rochester continued to hold its commanding lead. Toronto was also able to pick up a little bit of offense in the third, but the Knighthawks held an 11-8 lead heading into the final stanza.

The fourth quarter held a more intense feeling as Toronto attempted to make a comeback. However, the Knighthawks were able to hold off the Rock on the strength of Hill’s outstanding effort between the pipes and an insurance goal from Chris Boushy with 6.6 seconds remaining.

After his squad defeated Toronto 12-10, Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen mentioned that his team has begun to create chemistry after a busy trade deadline.

“You build chemistry through playing more games with each other,” he said. “It cannot all come in the first weekend, but it is coming together now.”

Rochester won its second straight game to improve to 4-11 but was eliminated from playoff contention with a New England win. Hasen and the Knighthawks will aim to keep building chemistry as they face off against Colorado Mammoth in Denver next Friday.

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