NLL: Fields helps Knighthawks hold off Halifax 16-14

ROCHESTER, New York, USA – FEBRUARY 11: Rochester Knighthawks v Halifax Thunderbirds February 11, 2023 in Rochester, New York, USA. (Photo by Micheline Veluvolu/ Rochester Knighthawks)

The Rochester Knighthawks held off a late surge from Halifax to defeat the Thunderbirds for the first time in franchise history Saturday night 16-14. Conner Fields led the way for the Knighthawks with eight points, after four goals and four assists. Holden Cattoni added three goals, and assisted on four goals.

“I don’t think that’s something that we really talked about; I know it’s part of the narrative of the game of the media and fans but as a team we didn’t really talk too much about it in the room,” Cattoni responded when asked about beating Halifax for the first time.

Halifax got the scoring started early with a goal from Eric Fannell off a feed from Cody Jamieson. After five scoreless minutes, Ryan Smith cashed in a power play goal. Fields then took a feed from Holden Cattoni a minute-and-a-half later and put the ball in the back of the net.

The game was tied briefly in the second but Rochester never relinquished the lead after that. Fields and Cattoni led the way with points in every quarter. The Knighthawks took a 9-5 lead into the half-time break and surged to a 16-9 lead late in the 4th quarter. Halifax showed no quit as they made it interesting for the home fans of Rochester with five-straight goals to close out the game but ultimately ran out of time.

Fields rounds out the top five in the NLL in points on the season with 54.

“He’s certainly have a great season. The ball’s going in the net for him which is a big help for us. He’s really put himself in a position to do really well and we’re certainly glad to have him,” Cattoni added when asked about Fields.

The Knighthawks move into a 3 way tie atop the East at 7-2 with Buffalo and Toronto as they’ll enjoy a much needed bye week. They’ll return home and host the New York Riptide February 25th. Face-off set for 7:00 pm. Meanwhile, Halifax will look to bounce back as they host the New York Riptide this Sunday at 1 pm.