Stealth Edge Defending Champion Rochester in NLL Opener

Among the standouts was defender Tim Henderson, one of the rookies making his NLL debut on Saturday. The West Point graduate finished the game with one shot, one loose ball and one turnover.

"To see how well Henderson moved against the defending champions was impressive," said Richards.

Among the other fresh faces was forward Kyle Buchanan who had four assists on the night.

The Stealth relied on its scoring depth early in the game while Duch, Ratcliff and Iannucci found their strides. Smith and Beers combined for four of the Stealth's six first half goals.

Also checking in with a goal in the game was forward Dean Hill who scored early in the third quarter tying the game at seven for the moment

On the defensive side of the ball the Stealth held Kighthawks 2012 leading scorer Cody Jamieson, an NLL top five finisher in goals and points, to a single goal.

"They played a dynamite game and that's what we expected from them. They're a very good team and have a lot of talent," said Knighthawks Head Coach Mike Hasen.

"(Richards) was really good tonight. He made a lot of big saves tonight when we had the opportunity to bury it. "

The Stealth expect to carry Saturday's moment with them next weekend when they travel to Colorado to face the Mammoth at Denver's Pepsi Center on Saturday January 12 at 6:00 p.m. The Stealth return home to Comcast Arena on January 20 when it takes on the defending Western Division Champion Edmonton Rush for a Sunday matinee at 2:45 p.m.

* * * *

The Rochester Knighthawks opened the season with a heartbreaking 13-12 loss to the Washington Stealth.

The first game of the season was a tight back-and-forth contest throughout between the 2010 and 2012 NLL Champions as neither team led by more than two. The Knighthawk held two-goal leads in both the second and fourth quarters, but the Stealth answered quickly to tie the game both times.

Washington (1-0) defeated defending champion Rochester (0-1) in the 2013 National Lacrosse League season opener at the Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash.

Trailing 9-8 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Stealth outscored the Knighthawks 5-3 to take the lead and the win. Johnny Powless once again tied the game at 12 with a behind-the-back goal, but Athan Iannucci scored the game-winner at 13:37.

He finished the game with two goals, while Lewis Ratcliff also chipped in two markers. Rhys Duch notched three goals and three assists, while Cliff Smith recorded his first career hat trick as part of an eight-point night (3+5).

Rochester got five-point efforts from Johnny Powless (2+3) and Cody Jamieson (1+4). Joe Walters chipped in four points (2+2), while Cory Vitarelli recorded a hat trick and Daw Dawson collected three assists in his Knighthawks debut. Matt Vinc stopped 51 shots in the road loss.

The Stealth struck first with a goal from Duch at 1:46, his first of three on the night. After Powless tied the game at 1-1, Matt Beers and Cliff Smith scored respectively to give Washington its largest lead of the night at 3-1.

Rochester scored three straight to open the second quarter and take its first lead of the game. Defenseman Scott Campbell knotted the game at 3-all after taking a turnover the length of the floor unassisted. Mike Accursi broke the tie, which was answered 13 seconds later by Smith.

Smith completed the hat trick in the first half after scoring three goals all of last season for Washington. His third goal with 43 seconds left in the half brought the game even again at 6-6. Vitarelli scored twice in the third quarter, his latter at 14:11 to give the Knighthawks a one-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

The Stealth will travel to Colorado to take on the Mammoth on Saturday, January 12th at 9:00 p.m. ET while the Knighthawks have a bye in Week 2.

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2013-01-06



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