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KNIGHTHAWKS CAN CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH WITH WIN
04/19/2013 - 10:11am

(April 19, 2013)… The Rochester Knighthawks (7-8) finish the 2013 regular season on the road with a 7:30 p.m. matchup with their I-90 rivals, the Buffalo Bandits (6-9), on Saturday, April 20th. The game will air live on the CBS Sports Network. 

Win and they’re in: The Knighthawks can clinch a playoff berth and the second seed in the East Division with a win over the Bandits. They can also clinch a berth with a Colorado loss to Minnesota. Rochester would be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss and a Colorado win.

Head-to-Head: The Knighthawks are 27-21 all-time versus Buffalo, and are 11-11 on the road against the Bandits. Rochester lost its previous meeting against Buffalo 10-6 on February 16th at The Blue Cross Arena.

Last Game: On April 14th the Knighthawks lost a 14-10 contest in Edmonton against the Rush. Rochester had gained a 4-0 lead in the first quarter. After Dan Dawson’s goal at 8:27, Edmonton goalie Aaron Bold was replaced with Brodie MacDonald. MacDonald was stellar in relief, holding the Knighthawks scoreless for the next 26:50 bridging the first and third quarters. The Rush erased the four-goal deficit and entered the half tied at 4. A six-goal third quarter allowed Edmonton to gain the lead and the momentum. Jarrett Davis (4+1) and Alex Turner (2+1) each scored twice in the third as the Rush entered the fourth up 10-7. Dawson (2+4) broke the scoring drought 5:17 into the third, tying the game at 5. Cody Jamieson (1+5) and Joe Walters (2+0) scored back-to-back goals at 5:19 and 6:49 to cut the deficit to 12-9 in the fourth, but Zack Greer (4+4) followed with the second of two fourth-quarter power-play goals to put the game out of reach. Matt Vinc made 43 saves on 56 shots and MacDonald finished with 32 saves on 38 shots in 51:33.

Vinc closing in on history: Goalie Matt Vinc set a new franchise record with 636 saves in a single season, surpassing Pat O’Toole’s 598 set in 2006. He became the first Rochester goalie to record 600 saves in a season. He is nine saves away from setting a new NLL record for saves in a season, which was set by Rob Blasdell in 2002 with Albany (644). He also made is 4,000th career save against the Rush and currently has 4,008. He can also set the franchise’s single-season save percentage record, which O’Toole set in 2000-01 at .798.

Knighthawks notes: The Knighthawks can make the playoffs for the third consecutive season with a win in Buffalo. Only twice in the previous 18 seasons have the Knighthawks not qualified for the postseason (2008 & 2010). The Knighthawks have a 14-4 all-time record in the last game of the regular season. Rochester is 1-2 against the Bandits so far this season. On January 19th, they lost by one, 14-13, on a behind-the-back goal by Tracey Kelusky with only 12 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. On February 9th, the Knighthawks dominated the Bandits in Buffalo, earning a 15-7 victory. On February 16th, Buffalo limited Rochester to a mere six goals in a 10-6 loss.

Records are made to be broken: Cody Jamieson and Dan Dawson are moving up a pair of franchise single-season record lists. With 56 assists, Jamieson is currently tied with John Grant, Jr. for third-most in a single season. He is four shy of Grant’s second-place mark (60). Dan Dawson, currently with 50 assists on the season, is one away from moving into a tie with Mike Accursi (51 in 2007) for the 11th most assists in a season by a Knighthawk. Jamieson is also four points shy of tying Scott Evans for the 10th-most points in a single season (87), and seven shy of the Grant, who holds down ninth place record (90).

The following Knighthawks are nearing career milestones:
• Mike Accursi (219) needs one assist to tie Shawn Evans (220) for third in franchise history in assists;
• Cody Jamieson (221) needs two points to tie Derek Malawsky (223) for 10th all-time in points;
• Brad Self is five points shy of 150;
• Matt Vinc is eight saves shy of tying the NLL record for saves in a single season (644) set by Rob Blasdell in 2002 with Albany.

Buffalo notes: The Buffalo Bandits (6-9) saved their playoff hopes with a 15-10 victory over the Washington Stealth on April 13th. Up 7-6 entering the fourth quarter, the Bandits rattled off six of the next eight goals to take a 13-8 lead. Aaron Wilson (4+2) scored four goals to lead the Bandits. Mark Steenhuis added seven points (2+5), and Shawn Williams and Kevin Brownell scored five (1+4). In his first start of the season, Kurtis Wagar made 33 saves on 43 shots. Buffalo transition player Jay Thorimbert is second in the league with 243 loose balls and third with 166 faceoff wins. The Bandits can clinch a first-round home playoff game with a win over Rochester AND a Philadelphia loss to Washington. Buffalo will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to Rochester.

Next Game: If the Knighthawks reach the postseason, they will play in a divisional semifinal the weekend of April 26-28. With a win, they will host a divisional semifinal at The Blue Cross Arena.

 


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