The Rochester Knighthawks will defend their title in the 2013 NLL Championship Game next weekend after beating the visiting Minnesota Swarm with a thrilling 12-10 playoff win in the East Division Final at The Blue Cross Arena on Saturday evening. They will face the Washington Stealth who defeated the Calgary Roughnecks 14-13. The game will be played in Langley, B.C home of the WLA Langley Thunder. Game will be televised live on CBS SportsNetwork at 7pm Eastern Saturday May 11th.
After 45 minutes of play the Knighthawks held a 7-6 lead in a very tight defensively played game. Both goaltenders, Matt Vinc and Tyler Carlson made one spectacular save after another.
As we started the fourth quarter the Swarm, still down by one went on a run scoring three times in 1:40 to take a 9-7 lead and capture all momentum in the game. Or so they thought. Swarm 4th goal of the quarter by Matt Gibson was challenged by the Knighthawks, and the goal was reversed as Gibson’s foot was on the line behind the net as he received the pass. AT that moment it seemed the momentum switched back to Rochester. The Knighthawks proceeded to score 5 unanswered goals to take a 12-9 lead with only 1:14 left. A late goal by the Swarms Ryan Benesch made the final 12-10 sending the Knighthawks to the NLL Champions Cup for the second consecutive year.
The Knighthawks were led by Craig Point who tallied 4 goals including the game winner. Johnny Powless was also a huge contributor in the victory as he registered 3 goals and 1 assist. Cody Jamieson who was a game time decision had 1 goal and 4 assist, but more importantly his presence on the floor had a role as well.
A victory by the Knighthawks next weekend and they will be the first to repeat since the 2002-2003 Toronto Rock.
The one question being asked in Rochester is… Why does the game have to be in Langley, BC?? Back in 2007 the Knighthawks were to host the Champions Cup against the Arizona Sting, but because of the circus they could not host. They could have played the game in Buffalo which is only 74 miles down the road. Instead the NLL decided to let the Arizona Sting host the game. So seeing both arenas for the Stealth are booked solid, why not have it in Rochester? It would only be fair.
As we come to the conclusion of the NLL season all I can say is….ITS BEEN ONE FANTASTIC RIDE!!!