The Rochester Knighthawks (13-4) defeated New York state rival Buffalo Bandits (8-9) by a score of 8-4 on the turf of the Blue Cross Arena Saturday night.
The defensive battle began with Joe Resetarits picking up the lone goal of the opening quarter, giving Buffalo a 1-0 lead on the powerplay.
The Knighthawks would control play in the second quarter, outscoring the Bandits 4-0 in the frame thanks to single tallies from Joel McCready and Derek Hopcroft as well as a pair of goals from Johnny Powless.
Shawn Williams would end the Buffalo scoring drought on the powerplay three minutes into the second half, which was followed by Resetarits’ second of the game just 34 seconds later to cut the Rochester lead to 4-3.
Brad Self answered for the Knighthawks, as Powless’ hat-trick marker would extend the lead to 6-3 heading into the final frame.
Ryan Benesch started the scoring for Buffalo in the fourth quarter; however it would not be enough as goals from Cory Vitarelli and Cody Jamieson would cement the 8-4 Rochester victory.
Matt Vinc was outstanding between the pipes for Rochester, allowing just four goals on 49 shots and earning game MVP nods. Three of Buffalo’s four goals came on the powerplay in what marked Vinc’s 11th win of the season.
Joe Walters led all Knighthawks offensively with five points (5 A), while Johnny Powless posted four points (3 G, 1 A) in the victory. Several Rochester players (Joel McCready, Derek Hopcroft, Cory Vitarelli, Cody Jamieson) finished with one goal and one assist each. Dan Dawson was held to just one assist in the win.
Hopcroft (1 G, 1 A), who was released by the Bandits prior to the 2014 season, made his first appearance with the Knighthawks after posting 15 points (9 G, 6 A) as a member of the Canadian Lacrosse Leagues’s (CLax) Durham Turfdogs.
Bandits goaltender Anthony Cosmo registered 33 saves in the loss, adding to his league-leading season total (714).
Ryan Benesch had four points (1 G, 3 A) for the Bandits, while Shawn Williams added three points (1 G, 2 A) in a losing effort. Joe Resetarits (2 G) and John Tavares (2 A) each had two points for Buffalo.
The game marked the last regular season match-up to take place at the Blue Cross Arena, as the Knighthawks posted an impressive 8-1 home record in 2014. The loss extends Buffalo’s franchise-worst losing streak to seven games.
The two squads will meet again Saturday, April 26 at the First Niagara Center to close out the regular season.