Saturday night the Rochester Knighthawks opened up their 25th season in the National Lacrosse League in front of 8,144 fans at Connors and Ferris Field at The Blue Cross Arena, as they faced an old friend in the Philadelphia Wings.
Prior to the start of the game, the Knighthawks acknowledged their 25th anniversary all-time team. Each of the players also received a plaque acknowledging the honour.
Forwards: John Grant Jr., Tim Soudan, Shawn Williams, Paul Gait, Mike Accursi, Cody Jamieson.
Defensemen: Regy Thorpe, Chris Schiller, Sid Smith, Scott Campbell, Paul Dawson, Graeme Hossack, Marshall Abrams, Mike Hasen.
Goaltender: Pat O’Toole.
Also honoured but unable to attend was Gary Gait, as well as current active NLLers Shawn Evans, Dan Dawson, Matt Vinc and Stephen Keogh.
This will be a bitter sweet season as next year Knighthawks’ fans will be cheering against the Knighthawks of today as the players will move with Curt Styres to Halifax, while the Knighthawks will become an expansion team.
During the franchise’s first 24 seasons they have won five NLL titles. The first came in 1997, then 10 years later in 2007. And who can forget the first-ever, and only three-peat between 2012-2014. Many fans around the arena are upset with the move and having to start over, but at least they will still have a team to cheer for next season as some cities (Minnesota/Edmonton) are still wanting a team back after their moves.