Dan Lomas comes up huge with 3G/4A to keep playoff hopes alive for Knighthawks
The Rochester Knighthawks (6-10) held off elimination from playoff contention with a hard fought 15-13 victory over the New England Black Wolves (8-9) in front of 5,816 fans at Connor & Ferris Field.
Dan Lomas was the star of the game as he compiled three goals and four assists to lead the Hawks to the victory.
The tone was set early by the Knighthawks. Dan Lomas’ shot was saved by Evan Kirk, but as Kirk fed Derek Suddons with a pass, Lomas laid an explosive hit on the defenseman, stopping the Blackwolves transition.
New England started the scoring as Seth Oakes (3G/1A) fed Shawn Evans (3G/3A) who would put the shot past Matt Vinc for the quick lead. This would be the pace for the first quarter. Lomas would score his first off a feed from Graham Hossack just 32 seconds later. The teams combined for 10 goals in the first 15 minutes and the Hawks ended up in front 6-4.
Kyle Jackson, Rochester’s leading scorer, was placed on the first-level injured reserve this week so did not play. The Knighthawks have struggled all season with their offense. In 10 games this season they have scored fewer then 10 goals and have a record of 2-8 in those games, but things were different on Saturday. Ian Llord was big, not only in his defensive play, but also on offense. Llord scored twice and also picked up an assist. One of the goals was shorthanded.
The other thorn in the side of the Black Wolves was the dangerous one: Dan Dawson. When it’s most crucial Dan Dawson seems to pour it on. This night he lit the lamp four times and tossed in a couple of assists. Joe Resetarits (2G/2A) also had a solid game.
For the Black Wolves, Shawn Evans (3G/3A, 1,002 career pts), Seth Oaks (3G/1A) and Reilly O’Connor (2G/4A) led the offense. The defense is what failed to show up on this night.
It wasn’t just the fact that Kirk allowed 14 goals; the defense was invisible. Too many quality shots, not pressure on the shooters and bad decisions and reactions caused the loss. Needless to say, head coach Glenn Clark was not happy.
Rochester outshot New England 60-49, but the big stat that led to Rochester’s victory was the loose balls. Rochester topped New England 90-70.
The final week of the season is very crucial as New England has yet to secure a spot, and Rochester still has a chance to gain a spot. Click here to see the NLL’s multiple scenarios.
This weekend Rochester (6-10) will face the Georgia Swarm (12-4) in a home-and-home series starting in Rochester Friday night before a flight south to Georgia for Saturday night. Rochester needs to win both and count on a loss from New England to secure a playoff berth.
The Black Wolves (8-9) will host the Vancouver Stealth (8-9) Saturday at 7 p.m. in a huge game. A win by New England not only secures a playoff berth, but will give them a first round home playoff game.