Hawks Keep Playoff Hopes Alive; Jackson and Resetarits score Hat Tricks
Last night the Rochester Knighthawks (5-8) defeated the Buffalo Bandits (5-7) 11-10 in front of 8,765 at Connor and Ferris Field in Rochester. It was the largest crowd of the season for the Knighthawks since their home opener which drew 8,137.
The game was your typical battle between the teams, but it didn’t go without controversy. Defensemen Brad Gillies scored the game winner with 2:05 remaining in regulation after Pat Saunders was called for a crease violation on what seemed to be the apparent go ahead goal. Gilles came down the floor and put the shot past goaltender Anthony Cosmo who stated his case that Gillies stepped on the line. Buffalo unfortunately could not challenge either call as they used both their challenges earlier in the game.
Rochester’s playoffs hopes were hanging by a thread coming into the gamehaveA loss would of all but dashed any hopes they may have had.
Buffalo seemed to control the first half outscoring Rochester 6-3. Buffalo also had all three power plays in the first half, converting on two of them. Stellar goaltending by both Matt Vinc and Anthony Cosmo kept the game close.
As the second half started the teams alternated goals scoring two apiece and the Bandits kept their three goal lead as the crucial fourth quarter began.
The Knighthawks would open with three goals in 59 seconds to tie the game at eight, but Dhane Smith put a shot past Vinc to temporarily give Buffalo a one goal lead.
Rochester’s rookie sensation Kyle Jackson would then score the next two goals exactly two minutes apart to give Rochester a one goal lead, but Mitch Jones tied the game 29 seconds later. That was all the scoring before the controversial ending.
The Knighthawks outshot Buffalo 59-33, and won the loose ball battle 87-65.
Ryan Benesch (4G) and Dhane Smith (2G/4A) led the Buffalo attack, while Anthony Cosmo stopped 48-59 shots faced.
For Rochester, Kyle Jackson (3G/5A), Joe Resetarits (3G/2A) and Dan Dawson (2G/4A) led the way for the Hawks. Matt Vinc stopped 23-33 shots.
The win brings the Knighthawks within a game of the final playoff spot (which New England, losers on Saturday night, currently holds), and a half game behind Buffalo for fourth. Should Buffalo and Rochester end the season with the same record, the Knighthawks would have the advantage due to winning the tie breaker over the Bandits.
Both teams are in action next week. Rochester will host Calgary and Buffalo hosts Saskatchewan. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. starts Saturday night.