The Rochester Knighthawks (1-1) defeated the New England Blackwolves (0-1) 15-8 Saturday night in front of 6,256 rowdy fans. The Knighthawks rebounded from a 12-5 thrashing last week thanks to a seven goal run that started in the second quarter. Kyle Jackson led all scorers with (2G/9A).
Another of Rochester’s first round selections, Josh Currier (3G/3A), and their second round pick Dan Lomas (2G/2A) in his first career game were huge in the resurgence of the Rochester offense.
Rochester did play from behind through the first half as New England led 5-4. The score could have been higher if it wasn’t for Matt Vinc. Vince stopped 22 of 27 shots in the first half to keep the Knighthawks in reach.
“We got some results in the first quarter, but I just didn’t like our game from the start to be honest,” said New England head coach Glenn Clark. “But overall I just wasn’t happy with our game”
As the third quarter started the wheels slowly started to fall off the bus. First an illegal substitution penalty that only took Rochester 13 seconds to score on the power play. Rochester would score three more times in the quarter, while Vince only had to make six saves. The wheel complete came off in the fourth quarter as Jay Thorimbert and Kevin Crowley each picked up five minute majors just 1:07 apart. Thorimbert’s was for high sticking, while Crowley received a game misconduct to go along with his major. Shawn Evans also received a five minute major in the final minute of the third for goalie interference.
Overall the Knighthawks were 9 for 10 on the power play, while New England failed to score on their only power play. Rochester outscored New England 11-3 in the second half, which was helped by a five goal run in the fourth quarter.
“Penalties kill” Brett Manney said. “Sometimes they go you way.” “But when you have to kill three 5 minute majors, then a few minor penalties, it’s hard to get the offense out there.”
There were a few bright sides for New England. Recently acquired face off specialist Jay Thorimbert was 13-27 on face-offs, while Chad Culp had (1G/1A) and was very much in every bit of the action.
The game also marked the return of a fan favorite. Scott Self returned as a member of the New England Blackwolves. “Definitely different being on this end of the hallway,” Self said. “I was trying not to think about it too much, but yeah, I mean it’s there in the back of your head, right? I played here for a few years, went on a good run, and really enjoyed my time here. Wanted to have a better showing than we did hear tonight.”
Scott may get his wish as these teams will face each other three more times this season. The last of the three will be back here in Rochester on April 22nd.
Goalie Evan Kirk faced 60 shots while his team was on the penalty kill 10 times during the game.
Rochester picked up 95 loose balls to New Englands 73.
New England will look to get their first win next Saturday as they face the Colorado Mammoth 9pm.
Rochester will have next week off, but will return to action on Saturday January 21st as they will face the Saskatchewan Rush 8:30pm.
Rochester faces the Rush twice this season, as they will host the current two time champions on February 11th.
The Rush are trying to do what Rochester did from 2012-2014, and that is three-peat. Between the two teams, they have account for the last five championships.