A rematch of the 2012 NLL Championship will take place tonight as the Rochester Knighthawks (4-5) host the Edmonton Rush(5-5) at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY.
The Knighthawks kicked off the second half of the season with a big win over the Colorado Mammoth while also making three moves at the trade deadline for their playoff push.
The headline trade was sending veteran Casey Powell to Colorado for St.Catharines,ON native John Sullivan and a third-round pick in the 2014 NLL Entry Draft.
The Knighthawks also made two separate deals with in-state rival Buffalo Bandits. Rochester picked up defensemen Jimmy Purves for a second-round pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft. Rochester also traded Alex Kedoh Hill for transition man Scott Self.
Rochester’s defense has been one of the best in the league and with these deals will only strengthen the Knighthawks defensive core. The moves also free up some space on the front end in an effort to help the team’s scoring woes.
Unlike Rochester, Edmonton was silent as they watched the deadline come and go without making any moves.
The Edmonton Rush have an abundance of youth talent up front as five of their top six goal scorers are under the age of 27. Leading the way of the young Rush is 33 year old Ryan Ward. In 10 games, the Victoria,BC product has found the back of the cage 16 times while adding 35 assists for 51 points. Ward’s 35 helpers is good enough for fourth in assists league-wide.
Reigning NLL Defensive Player of the Year Kyle Rubisch is continuing to build off his great season last year as he leads all d-men in forced turnovers with 29. Rubisch also sits sixth in loose balls with 78.
The 2012 Champions Cup rematch may not be as important as last years championship dual, but the game is vital in both teams route to the playoffs.