The Rochester Knighthawks (8-4) defeated the Toronto Rock (11-4) by a score of 11-7 on Friday night at Air Canada Centre on Alumni Night. The loss to the Knighthawks means that they now hold the head to head tiebreaker should the two teams end up tied in the standings at the end of the season.
“I’m disappointed because we were playing for some big stakes, and totally disappointed with our start but we didn’t quit and we competed and stayed in the game,” said Rock Head Coach John Lovell.
Kasey Beirnes opened the scoring with a power play goal but the Knighthawks came at the Rock hard, with 5 straight goals to lead 5-1. Another man-up goal by Beirnes made it 5-2 in favour of the visitors after one quarter.
Rock goaltender Brandon Miller didn’t last the quarter and was pulled after allowing the fifth goal of the game on just 8 shots in a shade over 13 minutes of work.
The Knighthawks scored the first 3 goals of the second quarter to lead 8-2. The Rock scored a pair of goals before the end of the half to narrow the gap to 8-4.
An even third quarter didn’t help the Rock’s cause as they tried to claw back into the game. After scoring first, the Rock gave up a pair of goals. Jesse Gamble scored with just 17 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Rock still trailed by 4 goals, 10-6 at the end of three quarters.
The two teams traded goals in a rather uneventful fourth quarter as Rochester’s defence and the strong goaltending from Matt Vinc stifled any chance of a comeback.
Josh Sanderson assisted on the first goal of the game and it happened to be his 1,300th NLL point.
Rock goal scorers were Kasey Beirnes (3), Stephan Leblanc (2), Kevin Crowley (1) and Jesse Gamble (1).