KNIGHTHAWKS RETIRE GRANT JR.’S NUMBER BEFORE SHOWDOWN WITH SWARMFeb 3, 2019
By Luke Conner -- Before its game against the Georgia Swarm on Saturday, Rochester honored a Knighthawks legend, John Grant Jr., by retiring his No. 24. Grant, who was drafted with the first overall pick back in 1999, would spend 11 of his 18 professional seasons with the Knighthawks. He would leave as the all-time leader in goals (433) and points (894). To add to his legacy, “Junior” won a 2007 National Lacrosse League MVP and Championship Game MVP as he led the Knighthawks to their second league title.
With the crowd energized, the Knighthawks battled the Georgia Swarm for four hard-fought quarters. In the end, however, the Knighthawks fell 16-12 to the Swarm at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks were led by a seven-point performance from Cody Jamieson (1+6) and a five-point night (4+1) from Austin Shanks. Cory Vitarelli also added three goals and one assist. In goal, Warren Hill was spectacular in a relief effort, making 42 saves.
After falling behind 5-2 in the first, Rochester mounted a comeback in the second quarter. The Knighthawks fought back with two quick goals from Vitarelli and Shanks to make it 5-4. After a goal from Lyle Thompson to make it 6-4, Jamieson tacked on a goal to get the Knighthawks back within one at 6-5. After a pair of goals from the Swarm, Shanks tallied his second goal of the game to make it 8-6 before halftime.
In the final frame, Rochester went on another offensive surge as it attempted a comeback with goals coming from Joe Resetarits, Vitarelli, Shanks, and Kyle Jackson. The Knighthawks kept pulling within striking distance but came up just short on their home turf.
The Georgia Swarm improved their record to 7-2, while the Knighthawks dropped to 2-5. The Knighthawks return to action on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Mohegan Sun Arena, as they take on the New England Black Wolves.