KNIGHTHAWKS RALLY PAST MAMMOTHApr 1, 2018
(March 31, 2018)… The Rochester Knighthawks rallied to defeat the Colorado Mammoth 16-14 Saturday night at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
In a game that saw Rochester (8-7) down for the majority of the first half, the Knighthawks stayed strong and steady to solidify a very crucial win in the final weeks of the season.
“It was an entertaining game, and I give (the team) full credit,” said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. “It’s great to come away with a ‘W’ at home with this one.”
“We knew what it was going to take to win this game,” said Knighthawks forward Joe Resetarits. “They’re a great team. They’ve been hot all year, and we knew they’d go on their runs. The thing is you don’t want (goaltender) Dillon Ward to get hot, and we got to him early.”
The team got balanced scoring with Resetarits leading the way with three goals and three assists. Cody Jamieson put up six points as well (2+4). Cory Vitarelli ended with a hat trick and two assists, while Austin Shanks and Eric Fannell each put up a pair of goals and three assists. Kyle Jackson (1+3), Graeme Hossack (1+0), Jake Withers (1+0) and Ian Llord each added a goal in the victory.
“(Colorado) played well for coming off the back-to-back,” said Vitarelli. “Our first half didn’t go as well as we wanted it to but (we played) a tough game and stuck it out. We got some late ones to go in, and it gave us the win.”
The Mammoth (10-5) were led on the field by an explosive night from former Knighthawks Stephen Keogh, who ended the game with seven goals and two assists.
Down by as many as five goals midway through the second quarter, Rochester powered through with a five-goal run that began 6:50 into the second. Angus Goodleaf relieved Matt Vinc between the pipes 4:30 into the second. ‘Gussy’ went on to play a stellar game, allowing just six goals for the remainder of the game and stopping 30 shots.
“We know that when we put him in, he’s going to be ready to go,” said Hasen. “Tonight he settled in nicely, and he’s a big reason we got this win.”
On the other end, the Knighthawks chipped away at the deficit and went on to tie the game with less than two minutes left in the half. Keogh slipped one more in for the Mammoth with 47 seconds left to make it a one-goal game (11-10) going into the third.
“We just kept battling,” Resetarits said. “This game is so quick. We know in this league when you’re down by five goals it’s nothing. We know what it takes to win.”
The Knighthawks came firing out of the locker room for third quarter action, with Vitarelli scoring on the power play to tie the game up. Jamieson and Jackson followed suit to take the first lead of the night. A pair of goals from Colorado tied the game up at 13 going into the final frame.
Keogh gave the Mammoth the lead yet again just over a minute into the fourth, but the Knighthawks didn’t back down, scoring a trio of goals from Shanks (two) and Jamieson (one) to come out on top.
Jake Withers went 25-for-32 in the faceoff ring, passing Craig Point for sixth place on the team’s all-time list.
“Our goal is always that trophy at the end of the year,” said Resetarits. “We’ve still got three games so we’ve got a lot of work to do and the East (Division) is tight. But, we know if we do our job, we win, and we’re in.”
The Knighthawks will have a week off before traveling to Toronto to play the Rock on Friday, April 13. The Knighthawks will return home for the final home game of the regular season when they take on the New England Black Wolves on Saturday, April 21.