Toronto – Saturday night, the Rochester Knighthawks defeated the Toronto Rock 17-13 at Air Canada Centre to advance to the NLL Championship game as the East Division Champions.
The Rock fell behind by a pair of goals much to the delight of the near 500 Knighthawks fans that made the trip to Toronto for the game. Josh Sanderson and Brenden Thenhaus responded with a pair of Rock goals to tie the game 2-2. Rochester’s Craig Point took the last shot of the opening quarter and pushed the Knighthawks back into the lead with less than a second showing on the clock.
Kasey Beirnes opened the scoring to tie the game 4-4 and the Knighthawks and Rock each scored just 26 seconds apart to keep the score even at 5-5. Rochester connected for the final two goals of the first half to lead 7-5.
The Knighthawks began to pull away in the third quarter outscoring the Rock 4-2 in the period and building an 11-7 lead through three quarters.
Rochester and Toronto each scored 6 goals in the final quarter as the Rock couldn’t make up any ground in the late going.
Rochester’s Cory Vitarelli led the offensive charge for the Knighthawks scoring 4 goals and adding an assist. Matt Vinc made 51 saves for the win in the Rochester goal.
Garrett Billings had a goal and 6 assists for 7 points while Josh Sanderson had 4 goals and an assist.
The Knighthawks will now face the winner of the West Division Final between Edmonton and Minnesota next weekend.