Knighthawks Face Must WIN and Need Help in Final Weekend
Saturday night the Rochester Knighthawks had a chance to move into third place and the final playoff spots by percentage point. They received some help from New England who swatted the Swarm 21-11. But the ‘Hawks (6-10)failed to take advantage as they fell to Buffalo (12-5) 15-13
For the first three quarters the Knighthawks led the game and wouldn’t allow the Bandits to get on a run. Then the fourth quarter began and the roof seemed to start caving in on the ‘Hawks.
Bandits tied the game at eight just 1:45 into the final quarter, only to have the ‘Hawks take the lead again :31 later. That’s when the Bandits went on a huge six goal run. Mark Steenhuis and Dhane Smith combined for five of the six goals to take a 14-9 lead. It looked as if the game was over as some fans made their way to the exit. But this is the National Lacrosse League, and nothing is over til the buzzer sounds, especially with these two teams.
Joe Resetarits scored three straight goals in 1:17 to bring the ‘Hawks within two 14-12. Joe Walters would score with 10.1 seconds to make it 14-13, but the Bandits would win the face-off and Dhane Smith would score on an empty net to make the final 15-13 Buffalo.
With the win, Buffalo sets up a chance to clinch the east next weekend as they face New England. Season series is tied at a game apiece. A Buffalo win or a New England loss versus Rochester gives Buffalo the east title. New England needs to defeat Buffalo and Rochester to take first. There are other scenarios in where Buffalo or New England can be the #1 seed overall.
But for the Knighthawks, they need HELP in a major way. Rochester needs to defeat the Rush and New England on back to back nights, and MUST have the Swarm lose to Vancouver. Anything other then that scenario, and the Knighthawks will have a very long off-season.
Whether the ‘Hawks make or miss the playoffs this season changes will have to be made for next season.
The Rush are fighting for something as well. A Rush victory will give them the #1 seed overall in the league, and the Rush are looking to take out some anger after a tough loss to Vancouver. Then the following night they go on the road to face New England who is also going for the east title and also #1 overall. (must beat Buffalo first).
They have now lost five straight. Their last win was on March 18th, a 11-4 road win in Georgia. Last home win was on March 12th (7 weeks this Saturday).