Photo: Larry Palumbo
Rochester, NY – The Rochester Knighthawks (1-2) defeated the Toronto Rock (3-1) for their first win of the season by a score of 8-6 in a very tight defensive battle at Blue Cross Arena on Saturday night.
Brett Hickey got the scoring started early for the Rock, finding the net just 55 seconds into the first quarter. It was a pretty quiet 13-plus minutes, with both teams likely taking a few shots they would like to have back. The Knighthawks scored in transition with just 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter to tie the score 1-1.
Rochester’s Matt Vinc and Toronto’s Brandon Miller had great support from their defence in front of them throughout the first half. The Rock scored first in the quarter with the goal coming from Kevin Ross on a long underhand shot from outside. The Knighthawks did their damage in the final minute once again, tying the score 2-2 with 32 seconds left in the half.
The combined 4 goals were the fewest scored in a half over the last 159 NLL games. The last time two teams scored just 4 goals combined was January 19th, 2013 when the Rock outscored Philadelphia 3-1 in a half.
The Knighthawks scored the first two goals of the third quarter to build a 4-2 lead with the Rock offence struggling to find the net. Ross scored his second of the game, despite a Rochester challenge, as he tight roped the crease and gave the Rock some life. Late in the quarter, Jesse Gamble and Damon Edwards broke up the floor on a 2-on-1 and Gamble converted a quick-stick pass to tie the game 4-4.
The teams wasted a little less time collectively getting on the board in the fourth quarter. Brock Sorensen scored in transition to give the Rock their first lead since the first quarter, however Dylan Evans answered for the Knighthawks just seconds later to even the score 5-5.
Toronto took the lead but the Knighthawks scored 3 straight goals to get their first win of the season.
Rock goal scorers were Ross (2), Hickey (1), Sorensen (1), Gamble (1) and Leblanc (1).
Brandon Miller was sensational in a losing effort making 41 saves. Matt Vinc was equally as brilliant stopping 47 shots and getting his first win of the year.
Toronto’s next home game will be Saturday, January 31st at 7:00pm against the Calgary Roughnecks. Tickets are extremely limited in the lower bowl, so please purchase today to avoid disappointment. For more information, please visit torontorock.com or call 416-596-3075 to speak with a ticket representative and get your hands on the BEST ticket in town.