Tonight the Rochester Knighthawks (7-4) will face the Toronto Rock (11-3) for the final time in the regular season. Teams have split the other two meetings, so this will determine who will have the tie-breaker if needed.
This will be game one of two for the Knighthawks this weekend. They come into Toronto after an embarrassing 16-3 dismantling at the hands of the Edmonton Rush. Knighthawks obtained Joe Resetarits and a third rounder in 2016 from the Bandits for Jamie Batson and a second round pick in 2016 & 2017. In 10 games Resetarits has 7G/14A. Rochester is looking for him to take the spot vacated by Aaron Wilson’s release and be more productive.
Sitting only 2.5 games behind the Rock this game is vital for the both teams.
A win for the Rock would give the 12, all but lock up the #1 seed in the east and would give them the tie-breaker. It would also force the Knighthawks to win out to have any shot at winnig the east (Rock would have to lose out).
A win for the Knighthawks would place them 1.5 behind the Rock, even in the loss column, and still have three games in hand over Toronto. They also would have the tie-breaker.
For the Rock, after losing two of their last three the team battled back to defeat Calgary 12-10. They return to the ACC for three of their remaining four regular season games. Rock are 5-1 in the friendly confines.
After this game versus the Knighthawks the Rock seem to have it easy. They face the Stealth (4-7) and New England twice (3-7), so it seem all roads would go through Toronto as long as they remain in the playoffs.
The Rock made a big trade right as the buzzer sounded at the trade deadline. Rock traded Garrett Billings to New England for forward Kevin Crowley. Billings has yet to play this season. Last year his MVP type season ended after game 15 with a tear in the knee. Contract talks broke down, and the signing of Brett Hickey and the emergence of his offense along with Rob Hellyer made the trade possible.
Crowley, who will wear #12 will fit in perfectly with this offense. It seemed while in New England/Philadelphia , Crowley didn’t have the support needed. He was one of two players to do the scoring. Last year it was Jordan Hall (34) and Crowley (33). In 2013, Crowley (34), Westervelt (30). Closest person after that was 10 goals behind.
This season Crowley was getting support as six players were all with in 11 goals of each other, but Crowley was still the main cog. In Toronto he will be one of many key cogs which will enable him to excel as he did his rookie year in 2012 being paired with Dan Dawson.
Crowley should feel right at home as he joins former teammates, Brodie Merrill, Kevin Ross, and Brandon Miller, and Canadian National teammate Jesse Gamble.
The Rock are in action again on April 10 as they host Vancouver 7:30pm.
Rochester returns home to face the Swarm tomorrow night 7pm.