Apr 28, 2019

DSC_3832.jpgBy Mitchell Courtney -- In the final game of the season, the Rochester Knighthawks presented their team awards and subsequently put on a great show for the 6,158 fans in attendance. Their last battle of the season and last against the New England Black Wolves was fierce from start to finish.

The awards handed out were given to Steve Abbamonte (Dedication to the Team), Craig Rybczynski (Seventh Man Award), James Barclay (Rookie of the Year), Brad Gillies (Community Service Award), Jake Withers (Wolf Pack Award), Graeme Hossack (Defensive MVP and Team MVP) and Cody Jamieson (Offensive MVP).

Jamieson mentioned that Rochester was where he always wanted to play and that he is grateful for his time in the city.

“I have never really told anybody this, but I have always wanted to be in Rochester,” he said. “When my best friend Sid [Smith] was draft eligible the year before I had one more year left at school, and it was tough to stay.”

After a first-half goal scored by Chris Boushy and assisted by Colton Armstrong and Gillies, the Knighthawks trailed 8-1 after 30 minutes of gameplay.

In the second half, Rochester came out firing on all cylinders, getting goals from Kyle Jackson and Jake Withers just nine seconds apart and less than one minute into the half. An Austin Shanks’ tally cut the Black Wolves lead in half just over four minutes into the second half, giving the Knighthawks control over the pace of play. Two more goals from Ryan Benesch and Boushy’s second goal of the night pulled Rochester a little closer, trailing 12-7 at the end of three quarters. Jamieson’s assist on Boushy’s goal pulled him into the top 10 for assists in a single season in franchise history with 57.

Jamieson then scored the Knighthawks first goal of the fourth quarter on a nice setup from Benesch and Gillies. Subsequent tallies from Benesch and Community Service Award winner Brad Gillies pulled Rochester within three goals less than halfway through the last quarter. After a Black Wolves’ goal, Benesch scored his fourth of the game to keep the K-Hawks within striking distance with just under five minutes remaining in the contest, and Austin Shanks scored shortly thereafter to pull them within two.

The Knighthawks valiantly fought until the bitter end, falling by a score of 14-12. Rochester head coach Mike Hasen noted that although he has experienced ups and downs in Rochester, the fans and the city will always hold a special place in his heart.

“It has been a rollercoaster ride, my kids have grown up here,” he said. “Through it all, I have only ever wanted to be a Knighthawk.”

Jamieson echoed Hasen’s sentiments after the game.

“I could not imagine playing for somebody else,” he said. “I am thankful to have been here for as long as I have. We had a lot of good times.”

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