Hawks home win streak broken by Wings
Updated: Mar 21
By: Chamberlain Bauder
ROCHESTER, N.Y. --- The Rochester Knighthawks fell in overtime to the Philadelphia wings 9-8 on Sunday afternoon at Blue Cross Arena. It was a goal by Fairport native Blaze Riorden 19 seconds into overtime, assisted by former Rochester Knighthawk Joe Resetarits who totaled seven points on the day. The Knighthawks were led in scoring by Connor Fields, who sits two points shy of 200 on his career, he notched two goals and four assists. Defensively and in transition Rochester was led by Mitch Ogilvie, Matt Gilray and Ryland Rees. Totaling eight caused turnovers and 33 loose ball recoveries between the three of them. Rylan Hartley stood on his head as per usual, posting a .833 save percentage and 45 saves. His season average continues to creep closer to 80% which would make him the fourth goalie this season to achieve that mark. Hartley also leads the NLL in saves with 550, the next closest goalie is 15 behind.
From the start Rochester looked off, maybe in partial to the gamely scratch of alternate captain Curtis Knight. Mitch Jones scored first for Philadelphia and the game already showed it would be a tough one at the face-off dot. If Joe Post wasn't thrown into the fire last week against Jeremy Thompson he certainly was against the possible world best Trevor Baptiste.
"Obviously such a tough spot... never really played box lacrosse, his second game going against one of the best of all time or in this league, it's him (Trevor Baptiste) or (Jake) Withers and he did a great job, he was making him (Baptiste) earn it and making him work, and he pulled out some really tough loose balls and some tough face-offs," Captain Paul Dawson said about Joe Post.
Connor Fields tied things up after showing off the Knighthawks creative offense, finally deciding to go inside for the dunk after careening multiple shots off the posts. Then the game of lacrosse prevailed, a game of runs, however it was not in Rochester's favor. Five minutes later Riorden and Resetarits led their offense through assists for three different scorers including the younger Brother of Holden Cattoni, Taite.
"We were letting them have shots we usually don't let them have, giving guys that pocket corner not closing the gap early," Ogilvie said.
The Knighthawks came out a bit more awake in the second quarter. A quick save from Hartley led to an outlet to Rees to set up Fields on an outside bouncer to score the Knighthawks second goal of the game. With five minutes to go in the half, Cattoni took a shot from the top of the key that bounced off Wings net minder Zach Higgins. Thomas Hoggarth scooped the loose ball off the crease and put it into the open net to bring Rochester within one.
Philadelphia responded once again in natural lax fashion, doubling up on the Knighthawks before the end of the half. Resetarits assisted two more, another to the younger Cattoni and the halftime score had the wings leading the Knighthawks 6-3.
"That first half was a big difference, we were on our heels all night long and it just like we were running in quicksand a little bit," Coach Hasen said.
The Knighthawks defensive was alive awake alert and physical through the third quarter, shutting out the Wings and backstopping the offense to notch two goals while still hitting the post. Higgins also proved to play a good game in net with his 48 saves. Ryan Smith scored the first gaol for Rochester, showing that he is a prominent second half scorer for the team. Connor Fields set him up at the top of the key with room for his hands to get free and it was over before it started. The second was from Cattoni. Shooting from the outside and finding a small pocket through Higgins as the ball slowly rolled in behind the keeper.
"The biggest thing was the urgency, we kind of came back and played with that urgency, a little bit more speed, a little more get up and go," Hasen said about the second half.
Rochester kept that momentum going into the fourth quarter Ryan Smith scored his second as Fields sent him the ball in the corner on the righty side. He crossed into the hole and scored on the inside to bring the game level. A minute later Cattoni Putin a shot from the outside on Higgins and once again finding a way to leak through slowly into the back of the net. Turner Evans put the Knighthawks up 8-6, taking a loose ball out of the crease and shooting behind his back to wrap the shot around a flailing Higgins.
Unfortunately for Rochester, that sparked something in Philadelphia and it would prove to be the killing run. The Wings scored 24 seconds later with the Rochester roots duo of Riorden and Resetarits assisting Ben McIntosh on his second goal of the game. A minute after that Resetarits scored the game tying goal and six minutes of physical defense ensued.
Neither team would budge with momentum in what would seem a dead halt. However that all changed when Trevor Baptiste won the face-off and Philadelphia called a timeout four seconds into OT. Riorden scored from Resetarits 15 seconds later and the game was over, a 9-8 win for Philadelphia. Rochester will ave two more chances to change the narrative against Philadelphia, including the last regular season game of the season in Blue Cross Arena.
Rochester fall to 9-4 on the season and firmly hold third place in the east, up three games on fourth seeded Halifax. They are only one win behind Toronto for the second spot and will face Las Vegas on the road next.