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OPENING NIGHT NOTEBOOK
01/08/2013 - 4:40pm

(January 8, 2013)… The Rochester Knighthawks opened their title defense in Everett, Wash. Saturday in front of a national viewing audience. The game against the Washington Stealth at Comcast Arena was the lone contest to open the 2013 National Lacrosse League season.

With 7,023 fans watching in the arena and nearly 11,000 online, Cody Jamieson and Johnny Powless each notched five points in a tough 13-12 loss. Jamieson finished with a goal and four assists, while Powless scored twice on two shots on goal, including a behind-the-back goal in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 12. He also earned three assists. Dating back to last season, Powless and Stephen Keogh are both on a team-high six-game goal scoring streak.

Rochester native Joe Walters tied his career high with two goals and four points. He continued where he finished off last season, and earned ILindoor.com’s second star of the week award. Cory Vitarelli led the team in goals scored with three to him a hat trick in three of his last four games.

Defenseman Scott Campbell celebrated playing in his 100th career game by netting an unassisted goal. In goal, Matt Vinc matched his season-high save total from 2012 in the loss, denying 51 of 64 shots faced for a .797 save percentage. He also posted the same stat line against the Toronto Rock in the 17-13 semifinal victory which propelled the Knighthawks into the Champion’s Cup Finals.

On Saturday, Rochester welcomed the arrival of the Dawson brothers and the return of Joel McCready. Former NLL MVP Dan Dawson made his Rochester debut and earned four helpers. Dawson, who has 875 career points, is currently four goals away from his 350th career goal. Suiting up for Rochester for the first time since the 2011 season, McCready finished with an assist, two forced turnovers and a team-best six loose balls.

"I thought we played pretty well offensively,” Dawson said. “I don’t think we gave up too many chances in transition. That was the main focus; getting hard to the bench. I thought we had some great looks but we just didn’t finish the ball.”

Owner and GM Curt Styres was recognized at halftime for his contribution to the native communities on the west coast. Styres partnered with the Stealth to purchase 2,000 tickets for Native Americans in the Puget Sound region.

“I think it just goes to show what kind of a guy he is,” said Jamieson. “He’s willing to help out people who need it. I think it proves the passion and love he has for this sport when he does stuff like this.”

The Knighthawks have a bye in Week 2 of the NLL season, but return to action with home game against I-90 rival Buffalo. The Bandits come to The Blue Cross Arena on Saturday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. The Knighthawks will raise their championship banner before the game. Fans can catch the game on Sportsradio 950 ESPN and online at www.sportsradio950.com. The game will also be televised live on the Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and on NLL on YouTube on The Lacrosse Network.


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