KNIGHTHAWKS TO OPEN SEASON AGAINST ROUGHNECKSDec 6, 2017
Vinc fives saves away from second place on NLL’s all-time list
(December 6, 2017)… The Rochester Knighthawks will open their 24th season in the National Lacrosse League on Saturday, Dec. 9 when they battle the Calgary Roughnecks at 7:30 p.m. at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
Country Night: Fans can stop by early for the pregame concert, presented by the U.S. Army, and enjoy the music of the Zac Brown Tribute Band, ZBTB. Head to the upper atrium bar for $2.00 happy hour beers. New merchandise will also be on sale at the team store, including an exclusive Knighthawks Ugly Sweater long-sleeve T-shirt.
Get Your Tickets: Individual tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000, and at The Blue Cross Arena Box Office. This season, the Knighthawks are offering a no per ticket service charge when purchasing on Ticketmaster.com. If you're interested in discounted group ticket offers or want to learn more about mini-plan and full season ticket packages, call (585) 454-4295 to speak with a Knighthawks representative.
Broadcast Info: The game will be broadcast on 107.3 The Bull and on the iHeartRadio app. Fans can watch the contest on NLL TV (nlltv.com). Craig “Ripper” Rybczynski returns for his 17th season as the team’s play-by-play man, while legendary Penn Yan coach and Knighthawks scout Brian Hobart will handle the color commentating duties.
Scouting the Knighthawks: Rochester begins its hunt for a sixth Champion’s Cup on Saturday. The Knighthawks enter the season confident that they can return to the postseason for the first time since the 2015 campaign. The active roster includes 15 returning players, including five-time NLL Goalie of the Year Matt Vinc, team captain Sid Smith, former NLL MVP Dan Dawson, 2017 Second Team All-Pro Graeme Hossack, and 2017 All-Rookie Team members Josh Currier and Kyle Jackson. The 2017-18 season also marks the return of forward Cory Vitarelli, who was sidelined all summer with an injury. “Dogger” is a three-time NLL champion and has a penchant for scoring. Over his seven seasons in Rochester, he has posted 144 goals, 98 assists and 242 points in 89 games.
Pardon me, Mr. Watson: Knighthawks goalie Matt Vinc is just five saves away from passing Toronto legend Bob Watson for second on the league’s all-time list. Vinc enters the season with 6,467 stops and trails just Watson (6,471) and Anthony Cosmo (7,222).
New Faces: Defenseman Billy Dee Smith headlines a group of eight newcomers to the organization. Entering his 16th year of pro lacrosse in 2017, Smith brings with him one NLL title and one NLL Defensive Player of the Year award. He is joined by fellow free-agent signings Eric Shewell, Greg Longboat and Mike Triolo. Rochester also brought in four draft picks to bolster its roster, with three of those players coming from Ohio State. Jake Withers, who went second overall, was the first Buckeye selected by Rochester in the 2017 NLL Entry Draft. The Knighthawks then took Austin Shanks (fifth) and Eric Fannell (sixth). All three OSU products made the active roster, while second-round pick Adam Perroni, who played for Junior “A” Whitby, was named to the practice squad.
Currier vs. Currier: Zach Currier could face his brother, Josh, in his professional debut on Dec. 9. Zach was selected third overall in the 2017 NLL Entry Draft after an impressive career at Princeton University. Josh enters his second year in the NLL after earning league All-Rookie Team honors in 2017.
• Matt Vinc will pass Bob Watson for second all-time in saves with five stops on opening night.
• Scott Campbell (113) needs to play in one more game to move into a ninth-place tie with Mike Hasen on the all-time games played list.
• Campbell needs four points to reach 100 as a pro.
• Joe Resetarits is three goals shy of 100 in his career.
• Cory Vitarelli needs two assists to reach 100 in his career.
Scouting the Roughnecks: Calgary will kick off its 17th season in the NLL when it takes on the Knighthawks. The game is the first of two meetings this season between the two clubs. The Roughnecks will host the Knighthawks on Saturday, March 17 at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary finished the 2017 season with an 8-10 record and missed the postseason for only the second time in franchise history. The Roughnecks return 17 players to their active roster, including top scorers Curtis Dickson (54 goals, 107 points) and Dane Dobbie (39 goals, 89 points). Defenseman Dan MacRae, who played his college ball at RIT, enters his first season as the team’s captain.
Knighthawks Next Game: The Knighthawks return to action on Saturday, Dec. 23 when they host the Buffalo Bandits at 7:30 p.m. at Connors & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena. Prior to the I-90 showdown, the organization will host its annual Kids Day. With the purchase of one adult ticket, two kids under the age of 12 will be admitted for free. The festivities will include inflatables, airbrush tattoos, holiday music and more. Kids Day is presented by Adventures in Climbing, Zweigle’s, Wilkins RV and Bill Gray’s.