Knighthawks Fall In Title Rematch
(March 16, 2013)... The Rochester Knighthawks continued to struggle at home, losing 11-9 to the Edmonton Rush in a Championship Game rematch. The loss dropped Rochester to 1-5 at The Blue Cross Arena with two more home contests to go this season.
In the 2012 title game, the Rush (6-5) jumped out to a 5-1 lead at halftime before allowing the Knighthawks (4-6) to storm from behind in the third quarter. In round two however, Edmonton was able to hold off a second-half comeback and secure the victory.
“It’s tough,” said Rochester forward Mike Accursi. “Sometimes we’re working hard but not smart. You get behind against a team like that—they’re a young, athletic team—it’s a big hole to climb out of. There has to be a sense of urgency in the locker room. Sometimes I don’t think we had that.”
Rochester nearly tied the game in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to just one. Joel McCready scored the first of three unanswered goals in the final five minutes of the quarter. Cody Jamieson put on his best "Air Gait" impression with a leaping goal over the back of the net, followed by a score from Dan Dawson to make it 8-7.
“It took us almost three quarters to get going as a team,” said Rochester head coach Mike Hasen. “Once we started moving the ball and moving our feet a little bit more, we had some success. We’ll take the second half, where we did outscore them, and we’ll take that moving forward.”
The Rush scored three of their own to open the fourth quarter, regaining a four-goal advantage. Zack Greer scored twice in 62 seconds before Mark Matthews completed his hat trick 7:55 into the final quarter.
“It looked a lot like the Champion’s Cup in the second half,” said Edmonton Rush head coach Derek Keenan. “We didn’t do a lot on offense in the third quarter. We kept grinding away at it…Then we got the three there because we kept at it. We didn’t stop working.”
Dawson scored Cory Vitarelli scored a goal each late the frame, but it was too little too late. The Knighthawks turned the ball over 33 times but only managed 33 shots on goal.
“I wouldn’t say that we’re not working together,” Accursi said. “We’re struggling to find an identity. Last year, we had lots of different things happening in the locker room and outside of the locker room that brought us together whether we liked it or not. We gelled there. This year it’s about finding that identity. What is the 2013 Knighthawks?”
Jamieson led all scorers with seven points (2+5). Dawson added five points (2+3). Goaltender Matt Vinc made 36 saves on 47 shots.
The Rochester Knighthawks remain home to host the Toronto Rock on Saturday, March 30th at 7:30 p.m. It will be the second of three meetings between the East Division rivals. The game can be heard live on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and on www.sportsradio950espn.com. It can be seen live on YouTube via The Lacrosse Network.