Knighthawks Fall Just Short in Valiant Comeback Attempt

Feb 2, 2019

Photo Feb 01, 10 24 05 PM.jpgBy Mitchell Courtney and Craig Rybczynski -- The Rochester Knighthawks scored two goals in the final minute but fell one goal short of completing the comeback Friday night in Philadelphia. Wings’ forward Blaze Riorden tallied 39 seconds into overtime to give Philadelphia a 15-14 victory.

Rochester’s Kyle Jackson and Cody Jamieson scored goals just 39 seconds apart to tie the contest at 14 to force the extra session. Jamieson (4+1) was one of three Knighthawks with five-point efforts, joining Pat Saunders (3+2) and Cory Vitarelli (3+2).

In goal, veteran netminder Angus Goodleaf finished the night with 48 saves. He was at his best in the fourth quarter as he made 12 saves, which included two huge stops on Kevin Crowley in the opening five minutes. Goodleaf’s performance kept the Knighthawks afloat in high-pressure moments, and his teammates certainly noticed.

“‘Gussy’ made it a game for us,” said Rochester defenseman Graeme Hossack. “He was our anchor again tonight.”

The back-and-forth affair opened with Vitarelli scoring just 59 seconds into the contest to give him 300 career points. After taking the lead briefly on two separate occasions, the Wings would fall victim to the Knighthawks’ revitalized offense. Jamieson had no trouble beating Wings’ goaltender Doug Buchan to tie the game at two, and Saunders then knotted the game at three at the 13:36 mark. Just 52 seconds later, Rochester took a 4-3 lead on Mike Burke’s first goal as a Knighthawk on a diving finish.

In the second, the Wings outscored Rochester 5-1 to take an 8-5 lead into halftime. The Knighthawks, however, matched those five goals in the third to send the game into the fourth quarter tied at 10. The Knighthawks ended the third with consecutive goals from Burke, Vitarelli, and Saunders.

In the fourth, the Knighthawks extended their scoring run to five as Jamieson scored back-to-back dunk goals to stake Rochester to a 12-10 lead. Jamieson’s two goals forced a goaltending change by Philadelphia as Davide DiRuscio replaced Buchan.

Following the move, the Wings tied the game at 12. Two late Philadelphia goals gave the Wings a two-goal lead, but Jackson’s goal pulled Rochester within one. After a tremendous save from Goodleaf with 28 seconds remaining, Jamieson scored his fourth of the game with 21 seconds remaining to tie the contest at 14. That set the stage for overtime.

The Knighthawks (2-4) will look to bounce back Saturday night with a 7:30 p.m. home game against the Georgia Swarm.

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