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KNIGHTHAWKS CONTINUE DIVISIONAL SCHEDULE
02/19/2013 - 10:59am

The Rochester Knighthawks are preparing for their fourth straight East Division contest, as the Philadelphia Wings come to town this weekend. Rochester (3-4) and Philadelphia (2-3) are both two-and-a-half games out of first place, and will fight to move up the division standings on Saturday, February 23rd at 7:30 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena.

Last Saturday, the Knighthawks were defeated at home for the second time this season by the Buffalo Bandits, dropping a 10-6 decision to their I-90 rival. With a goal and one assist against Buffalo, forward Dan Dawson recorded his 900th career point. His fourth-quarter goal marked the milestone for Dawson, who is seventh on the National Lacrosse League’s all-time assist list (547) and eighth on the all-time points list (900). He is currently tied for sixth in the league with 22 assists along with Colorado’s Gavin Prout, who is eight points ahead of Dawson on the league’s all-time points list. Dawson will be playing his former team for the second time this season on Saturday. He scored a season-high 11 points in Philadelphia on February 8th to lead the Knighthawks to a 20-10 win.

Johnny Powless netted a goal in the second quarter against Buffalo to give the Knighthawks a brief one-goal lead. The 19-year-old has now scored at least one goal in 12 consecutive games.
According to the Knighthawks head coach, the team was happy with the effort on defense, holding the Bandits to 10 goals.

“You hold any team to 10 in this league, you expect to be on the right side of the end of the game,” said Mike Hasen. “They had some good looks, and (Matt) Vinc saved us a few times. For the most part, we kind of did what we wanted to do (on defense). A couple squeaked by Vinc that normally don’t, and if he gets those, it’s a little bit of a different game.”

Led by team captain Sid Smith and Vinc, the Knighthawks have allowed the fewest goals per game through the first seven weeks of the season (10.14). Vinc is first among starting goaltenders with a 10.10 goals-against average and a .811 save percentage. Although he is third with 300 saves, he is first with an average of 42.9 saves per game.

Rochester’s penalty kill is also tops in the league, yielding only 11 power-play goals. The Knighthawks have held opponents scoreless on 66.7 percent of their man-down situations, which is 14 percent more than the next closest team.

In the decisive win over the Wings in Philadelphia on February 8th, the Knighthawks scored the most goals in a game by any team in the NLL (20) this season. The 10-point win is the largest margin of victory in the league in 2013, as well. Rochester hopes to rediscover its offense against the Wings again this Saturday.

“We don’t have to change a lot, we just have to execute better,” Joe Walters said. “I think we’ll do that. We’ll get back to work on Wednesday at practice and we’ll come out here again next week (against Philadelphia).”

These Knighthawks are nearing career milestones:
• Mike Accursi is five points away from 800;
• Cody Jamieson is three assists shy of 100;
• Matt Vinc is 32 saves from 1,500 as a Knighthawk.
 
Kids Day: The Knighthawks will hold their Annual Kids Day at The Blue Cross Arena. Courtesy of Zweigle’s, kids 12 and under can receive a free ticket to the game with the purchase of an adult ticket. Starting at 4:00 p.m., kids can enjoy laser tag, inflatables, a magician, face painters and air brush tattoos. Plus, one family will win a $320 birthday package from Kango. For more information, call Derek at (585) 454-HAWK (4295).

A ‘Beary’ Cool Auction: The Teddy Bear Auction, presented by GoBuyRochester.com, began online on February 16th at 6:15 p.m. and ends on Saturday, February 23rd at 9:00 p.m. Fans at the game on February 23rd against the Wings will also be able to place their bids at the Go Buy Rochester booth. Winning bidders must arrange for payment before exiting the arena with their bears. This season, the auction includes a Captain America bear signed by three-time NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart and a special bear created by WBEE host Jeremy Newman.


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