(April 18, 2015) ... The Rochester Knighthawks locked up a home playoff game, following a 13-9 win tonight over the Vancouver Stealth at the Langley Events Centre. With the win, the Knighthawks (11-5) also remained in the hunt for first place in the East Division.
"It's huge (to get a home playoff game), but that's only part of our goal," said Knighthawks forward Cody Jamieson. "We are still fighting for the first overall seed."
With two games to play, Rochester is one and half games behind the Toronto Rock. On Saturday, Jamieson (1+6) and Cory Vitarelli led the Knighthawks with seven points apiece. Vitarelli, who made his return to the lineup this weekend, scored four goals and collected three assists to reach a career-high in points in a game. He also added a goal last night in Colorado to give him eight points during the road trip.
"It was nice to get back into the lineup," said Vitarelli. "After last night, it was nice to get a win."
It was during the second quarter, that Rochester broke open a 2-2 game. The Knighthawks outscored the Stealth 5-2 in the second, as they received goals from five different players. Stephen Keogh got it started by scoring at 3:42 of the quarter to give the Knighthawks their first lead of the night and they never looked back. Paul Dawson scored 40 seconds later as he wired a bounce shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net for a 4-2 lead. Rochester ended the first half with goals from Jamieson and Vitarelli to move in front 7-4.
Rochester opened the third with two more goals as Hall provided a highlight-reel goal, taking a Jamieson feed and firing a shot past Stealth goalie Eric Penney. Hall closed out the night with two goals and one assist in his homecoming.
"It was good. Obviously, when you come home you get a little bit more excited," said Hall, who grew up in White Rock, BC. "I haven't been home in a long time and it was good to be here close to home. I was excited getting off the plane."
Hall added his second of the night midway through the fourth quarter off an assist from Dawson. His power-play tally was one of three special team's goals for the Knighthawks, who were 3 for 5 on the man advantage. Dawson finished the game with three points (1+2), while Craig Point chipped in two points (1+1). Scott Campbell and Jon Sullivan also added single goals. The Knighthawks were backstopped by a 42-save effort from Matt Vinc.
The Knighthawks will close out their regular season home schedule on Saturday, April 25th as they take on the New England Black Wolves at 7:30 p.m. at Connor's & Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena for Military Appreciation Night.
* * * *
EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Twenty-four hours after knocking off the three-time defending NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks at Pepsi Center, the Colorado Mammoth found itself down 13-6 to the West Division-leading Edmonton Rush at Rexall Place through three quarters of play. In the fourth, the Mammoth made it too close for comfort for the hometown team. Colorado scored six straight to cut the Edmonton lead to 13-12 with a minute remaining, but ultimately fell short.
"I'm super-proud of our team," said Mammoth coach Pat Coyle. "There was a moment there where it felt like we were just going to fold up our tents and just call it a night and be happy with last night's win, but I thought we made a statement how we battled to the end. I can't be more proud of how we played!"
Colorado forward Adam Jones scored seven goals, tying a career-high, to bring his season total to a league-leading, career-best 49.
"It seems to be when you get on a streak, you just shoot and it seems to go in," said Jones.
The coaches drew up the final play for the man with the hot hand.
"The last shot, I think, was a couple centimeters off," explained Jones. "It's a disappointing loss but our goal for this weekend was to get better knowing the playoffs are coming up and I think we did that – all the way from our goalies to our defense all the way (up)."
Colorado will finish the season as the number-two seed in the West Division, and will host either Calgary or Vancouver on Sat., May 9 at 7:00 pm MT on HealthONE Field at Pepsi Center in the West Division Semifinal. Tickets will go on sale this Tue., April 21 at 10 pm MT.
The Mammoth concludes the regular season against the Rush on Sat., May 2 at 7:00 pm MT at Pepsi Center.
* * * *
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Swarm (5-11) fell to the Calgary Roughnecks (6-11) Saturday night, 10-6, in front of a crowd of 8,131 on Ho-Chunk Nation Field at Xcel Energy Center. Despite trailing 7-1 at halftime, the Swarm fought back to get within two late in the fourth quarter.
"We made a couple adjustments at halftime with our offense and where we were going on the floor and keeping our feet moving," Swarm assistant coach Aime Caines said. "We got a couple of early goals in the second half and we made it 8-6 and they got one on the power play so we really couldn't recover from that."
The Swarm got things started in the second half with an early goal by D Greg Downing (1g) just 12 seconds into the third quarter. Calgary put one up on a power play chance shortly after but Minnesota's F Johnny Powless (2g) scored to make it 8-3 before the end of the third quarter.
Minnesota scored three-straight goals to start the fourth quarter to get within two at 8-6 when Sam Bradman (1g) tallied two more and kept the Swarm off the scoreboard for the remainder of the fourth and won 10-6.
Calgary got out to an early three-goal lead in the first quarter before the Swarm's F Shayne Jackson (1g, 3a) continued his scoring magic, getting Minnesota on the board at 3-1. The second quarter was all Roughnecks scoring as they added four more goals to their lead to make it 7-1 before the halftime break.
Minnesota was without F Callum Crawford (upper body), T Jordan MacIntosh (lower body) and D Kiel Matisz (upper body) due to injuries Saturday night.
"When you lose guys that are top scorers in this league for a long time it hurts," Caines said. "I don't think we had an offensive player over the age of 26 so we're really young, a lot of energy, but missing that veteran presence with the injuries we have."
Calgary was led in scoring by F Shawn Evans (4g, 2a) and F Curtis Dickson (1g, 4a). Goaltender Frankie Scigliano made 43 saves in net for the Roughnecks.
The Swarm returns to The Hive on Saturday, April 25 to take on the Edmonton Rush (10-5) for Zubaz Night.