The Rochester Knighthawks beat the Calgary Roughnecks 15-14 in a Saturday night contest in Calgary.
The win improves Rochester’s record to 7-7, solidifying their hold on second place in the East, while Calgary drops to 8-7 and second place in the West.
Rochester had not given up more than 11 goals in a game since a Jan. 19 loss to the Buffalo Bandits, but their offense, led by Dan Dawson’s 11-point night (3+8), were able to weather the assault from Calgary’s many weapons.
Cody Jamieson added nine points (3+6) and Cody Vitarelli chipped in six points (3+3).
Goaltender Matt Vinc turned aside 44 shots in the winning effort, including several clutch stops that kept the Knighthawks close.
Rochester got out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first two minutes of play before Calgary began clawing back. The Roughnecks picked up their first lead of the game five-and-a-half minutes into the second quarter on Jeff Shattler’s second straight goal of the quarter. They would stretch the lead to as much as two goals late in the second before going to the locker rooms at the half with a one-goal advantage.
Rochester came out after half time and once again scored two quick goals in the first two minutes to regain their lead. Calgary would get those goals back in the middle of the period, but Rochester would answer back yet again late in the third to take a one-goal advantage into the final frame.
The see-saw battle continued in the fourth quarter, with Calgary rattling off three straight goals to retake the lead, then Rochester going on a three-goal run to once more move out ahead. Dawson’s third gal of the night at 12:01 of the quarter finally put the Knighthawks ahead for good and, in spite of a late flurry of shots by the Roughnecks, Calgary would come up short in their final comeback attempt.
Shawn Evans paced the Roughnecks’ attack with 10 points (3+7), while Curtis Dickson added seven points (2+5) and Jeff Shattler contributed six points (4+2).
Of concern for the Roughnecks, Dane Dobbie was helped off the field after a collision in front of the Knighthawks net in the third quarter. The play resulted in Dobbie completing his hat trick on the night, but he was in obvious pain as the result of a knee injury and did not return to the game.
If the injury proves to be serious, losing Dobbie could seriously impact Calgary’s playoff hopes, as he is currently second on the team in points (72) and tied for the team lead in goals (40).
Rochester now travels to Edmonton to take on the Rush in a Sunday afternoon tilt. A win in that game will seal up a playoff spot for the Knighthawks.
Calgary’s next game is also against the Rush, as they journey north to Edmonton next weekend for their final game of the regular season.