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01/06/2013 - 2:13am

By Travis Larner -- The Rochester Knighthawks opened the season with a heartbreaking 13-12 loss to the Washington Stealth. (Photo Credit: Richard Olson)

Click here for game highlights

The first game of the season was a tight back-and-forth contest throughout between the 2010 and 2012 NLL Champions as neither team led by more than two. The Knighthawk held two-goal leads in both the second and fourth quarters, but the Stealth answered quickly to tie the game both times.

The Washington Stealth (1-0) defeated the defending champion Rochester Knighthawks (0-1) in the 2013 National Lacrosse League season opener at the Comcast Arena in Everett, Wash.

Trailing 9-8 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Stealth outscored the Knighthawks 5-3 to take the lead and the win. Johnny Powless once again tied the game at 12 with a behind-the-back goal, but Athan Iannucci scored the game-winner at 13:37.

He finished the game with two goals, while Lewis Ratcliff also chipped in two markers. Rhys Duch notched three goals and three assists, while Cliff Smith recorded his first career hat trick as part of an eight-point night (3+5).

Rochester got five-point efforts from Johnny Powless (2+3) and Cody Jamieson (1+4). Joe Walters chipped in four points (2+2), while Cory Vitarelli recorded a hat trick and Dan Dawson collected three assists in his Knighthawks debut. Matt Vinc stopped 51 shots in the road loss.

The Stealth struck first with a goal from Duch at 1:46, his first of three on the night. After Powless tied the game at 1-1, Matt Beers and Cliff Smith scored respectively to give Washington its largest lead of the night at 3-1.

Rochester scored three straight to open the second quarter and take its first lead of the game. Defenseman Scott Campbell knotted the game at 3-all after taking a turnover the length of the floor unassisted. Mike Accursi broke the tie, which was answered 13 seconds later by Smith.

Smith completed the hat trick in the first half after scoring three goals all of last season for Washington. His third goal with 43 seconds left in the half brought the game even again at 6-6. Vitarelli scored twice in the third quarter, his latter at 14:11 to give the Knighthawks a one-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

The Stealth will travel to Colorado to take on the Mammoth on Saturday, January 12th at 9:00 p.m. ET while the Knighthawks have a bye in Week 2.

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