Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
04/20/2013 - 9:01pm

(April 20, 2013)... The Rochester Knighthawks earned the second seed in the East Division with a 10-9 victory over the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday night at the First Niagara Center.
The Knighthawks came back from an early deficit in the first quarter to take their first lead of the game midway through the second quarter. They would never surrender the lead from there, although the Bandits did not go down without a fight.
Down 10-8 with 15 seconds remaining in regulation, Mark Steenhuis scored to make it a one-goal game. Buffalo faceoff ace Jay Thorimbert gave the Bandits the final possession, but John Tavares’ pass to Dhane Smith was intercepted by Brad Self to end the game.
“It’s really just our playoff start a week early, that’s all it is,” said Rochester forward Dan Dawson. “It’s a step in the right direction and we’re going to build on it. We still got to clean up a lot of things but we’re going to enjoy it.”
The Bandits scored four of the first five goals to jump out to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter. Smith scored only 39 seconds into the game and again at 8:15 to bookend the early run.
Rochester recovered from a 4-1 deficit with six unanswered goals bridging the first and second quarters. Cody Jamieson, Mike Accursi and Craig Point each scored once in a span of 2:04 to tie the game at 4 before the end of the first.
“We just had to bide our time,” said Rochester Head Coach Mike Hasen. “We were going to get opportunities and we just had to make sure we were going to capitalize on them. We just stuck to the course and then we went on a little run.”
Dawson scored consecutive goals 1:36 apart to open the second quarter. His first has a leaping goal across the front of the crease which gave Rochester a 5-4 advantage, a lead they would never relinquish. Dawson’s second goal was followed by Point’s hat trick tally to cap the run up 7-4. Rochester would take a 7-5 lead into the locker room at the half.
Matt Vinc held the Bandits scoreless for 20:01 between the first and second quarters. Vinc broke Rob Blasdell’s 11-year-old single-season save record in the second quarter as well. With 26 saves on 35 shots, he finishes the season with 662 saves. He also set a new franchise record with a .803 save percentage.
“It’s all about the playoffs,” Vinc said. “(Breaking the record) wouldn’t have mattered if we didn’t make the playoffs. Now if we don’t win in the playoffs, that’s just another season. But overall, I think we just have to look at it defensively. I think my guys on the defense blocked as many shots tonight as I had saves. We’re doing the right things on the defensive end and hopefully we’ll carry that forward.”
Former Knighthawk Shawn Williams traded power-play goals with Point in the third quarter, allowing Rochester to maintain a two-goal lead. A minute after Buffalo defenseman Billy Dee Smith scored Joel McCready regained a two-goal cushion at 9-7.
Stephen Keogh scored the eventual game-winner 3:16 into the fourth quarter. Steenhuis scored the final two goals to give his team a chance to send the game into overtime.
Point finished with a season high five points (4+1) and his four goals was the most he’s scored in a game since netting four against Boston on February 13, 2010.
“I sat out a few games this season but I came back strong for my team,” Point said. “Whenever I got the ball, they were giving me a lot of space and room. Whenever I had the chance I took it.”
Jamieson scored a team-high six points (1+5) and with five assists, he surpassed John Grant, Jr. for second all-time in franchise history for assists in a single season with 61. With 227 career points, he surpassed Derek Malawsky for 10th all-time in career points.
The Knighthawks will host the Philadelphia Wings in the East Division semifinal with the date and time to be announced. Last season, the Knighthawks defeated the Wings in the opening round of the playoffs en route to the 2012 Champion’s Cup.

Syracuse men's lacrosse pulls off another one-goal victory, advances to national title game with 9-8 win over Denver

Syracuse's Kevin Rice and Brandon Mullins named to 18-player All-ACC lacrosse team

College lacrosse bracketology: Bubblers rooting against Patriot League's many possible bid-snatchers

Five takeaways from Syracuse lacrosse's 15-9 win over Hobart

Lacrosse weekend wrap: Surging Drexel still hoping this will be its breakthrough season

Syracuse men's lacrosse remains No. 4 in both national polls for second week (updated)

Syracuse University men's lacrosse spotlights offensive depth to wear down Hobart, 15-9

Syracuse University men's lacrosse uses late run to roll past Hobart, 15-9

Syracuse men's lacrosse at Hobart (live game updates)

Syracuse lacrosse's Billy Ward 'one of the best leaders ever to come through this program'

Syracuse lacrosse players Kevin Rice, Brandon Mullins win ACC player of the week honors

College lacrosse bracketology: Syracuse bolsters profile with Cornell and North Carolina victories

Five takeaways from Syracuse lacrosse's 11-10 double-overtime win over North Carolina

Syracuse lacrosse climbs to No. 4 in national polls after critical week (updated)

Lacrosse weekend wrap: Duke's slick six on offense has Blue Devils even further ahead than usual

Billy Ward on Syracuse lacrosse's double-overtime win over North Carolina: 'Let's be us, let's be great'

Billy Ward gives Syracuse lacrosse thrilling 11-10 win over North Carolina in double overtime

Syracuse men's lacrosse vs. North Carolina (live game updates)

ACC lacrosse: Virginia's loss ensures Syracuse-North Carolina is a play-in for the conference tournament

ACC lacrosse: Placing Syracuse's offense and defense in ACC games in context

Five takeaways from the Syracuse lacrosse team's 14-9 win over Cornell