The Rochester Knighthawks were thoroughly dominated by the Buffalo Bandits Saturday night as Buffalo rolled to a 10-6 win at the Blue Cross Arena. The Bandits improve to 4-3 as the Knighthawks drop to 3-4.
The star of the game, without a doubt, was the Bandits’ star goaltender, Anthony Cosmo. Cosmo made 54 saves on 60 shots, outdueling Rochester goaltender Matt Vinc who made 41 saves on 51 shots. The goalies truly stepped up in this one, and Cosmo got to shed some criticism Bandit fans had directed towards him before this one.
Shawn Williams opened the scoring five minutes into the first quarter before Brad Self answered for the Knighthawks minutes later. Those were the only two goals in a very chippy and tight first quarter. Buffalo then took control the rest of the way; the Bandits scored four goals in the second to go up 5-3 at the half. Then, the Bandits scored four more times in the third to go up 9-5, and then closed the deal with defense in the fourth, shutting down the Knighthawks’ stacked offense.
Luke Wiles led Buffalo with a hat trick, while the Rochester “Player of the Game”, Cody Jamieson, only managed one goal. No Knighthawks player scored more than one goal, and the Hawks could only cash in on two of six powerplays.
The Knighthawks’ loss can be attributed to many factors. First, there was an apparent lack of urgency on offense late in the 4th quarter once again. When a team is down four with six minutes left, it’s not long until that clock evaporates; suddenly there are only two minutes on the clock and that team is still down four, and the game is pretty much over. Also, the defense needs to pick up Matt Vinc more and not let a team like Buffalo walk right into easy, one-on-one situations on goal; this occurred far too many times last night. Luke Wiles is not an elite forward in the National Lacrosse League, but the Knighthawks made him look like one tonight. After all, Wiles has four goals against Rochester this year, two against everyone else. The defense has to pick up Vino and the offense has to convert more with a renewed sense of urgency out there. Rochester will try to regroup this week in practice as they take on the Philadelphia Wings next Saturday.