December 15, 2013

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Dawson's Seven Help Rochester Double Up Rock

from Press Releases

(December 14, 2013)... The Rochester Knighthawks doubled up the Toronto Rock, 12-6, tonight in preseason action at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (TRAC). With the win, Rochester evened its record to 1-1, while handing Toronto (1-1) its first preseason loss.

Dan Dawson led the way with two goals and five assists. Cory Vitarelli (2+2), Joel McCready (2+1) and Brad Self each tallied a pair of goals for Rochester. Cody Jamieson chipped in one goal and three assists, while Stephen Keogh notched one goal and two assists.

"It's tough to key on one guy when the ball is moving that well," Rochester Head Coach Mike Hasen said about his offense. "That's what we need to do every time we step on the floor. When we do that, we make good things happen."

Paired with a solid offensive performance was a gritty effort from the defense, led by the defending NLL Goaltender of the Year, Matt Vinc. "Vno" went the distance in goal for the Knighthawks to earn the victory, surrendering only six goals.

"It was good to play a full game and get comfortable with the 'D' guys," Vinc said. "I thought they did a great job in front of me, blocked a lot of shots. I'm not sure how much work I really got. I think they might have had just as many saves. It was a good defensive effort from our team."

According to team captain Sid Smith, the Knighthawks' defense "did a good job keeping them out of their prime scoring areas" and didn't give the Toronto shooters many quality shots.

Rochester scored four unanswered goals to end the contest to defeat their East Division foes. The Knighthawks outscored the Rock 4-2 in the low-scoring second half. Rochester got key goals from Keogh and Powless to break open an 8-6 game in the third. Keogh scored off two stick fakes and Johnny Powless (2+1) ripped a one-timer past Rose. The goals followed a pair of goals to open the third by the Rock. In the fourth, it was Dawson's turn again as he fired a shot past Rose and into the top corner for an 11-6 lead at 4:26. Self added a late goal, as he scored his second empty net goal of the contest at 12:53.

It was Dawson who got things started for the Knighthawks, who put four straight past Rose to grab a 4-1 lead after one. After his diving goal, Dawson then had a hand in the next two Rochester goals. He fed McCready for a quick stick in front at 9:45 and started a pretty three-way passing play that led to Vitarelli's goal at 14:07. Self tacked on a goal as time expired, picking off a Doyle pass – with the goalie pulled – and firing it into the open net for a 4-1 lead.

Toronto pulled within one to open the second only to have the Knighthawks counter with a 3-0 run. McCready and Vitarelli each scored their second goals of the night, and Joe Walters connected while shorthanded at 6:07. The teams traded goals to end the first half of play. Jamieson ripped a shot from the high slot to give Rochester the 8-4 advantage, as he converted the power-play chance at 13:19.

Rochester will close out the preseason with an 11:00 a.m. scrimmage against Calgary on Sunday, December 15th at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (ILA). The game at the ILA is free and open to the public. Calgary defeated the Minnesota Swarm 19-9 earlier Saturday.

***

Oakville, ON – The Toronto Rock were defeated 12-6 by the back-to-back defending NLL Champion Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday night at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville.

Despite the weather, there was a strong showing on hand but they were unfortunately witness to a slow start by the Rock. Toronto opened the scoring and then surrendered the next four to trail 4-1 after the first quarter.

Rob Hellyer and Eric Law scored for Toronto to close the gap to a goal just 2:29 into the second quarter. Rochester would reply with four of the next five goals to lead 8-4 at the half.

The Rock started the third quarter well scoring twice early to make the score 8-6. However that would be the last time the Rock would score. The Knighthawks equaled those two tallies with a pair of their own to restore their four-goal lead at 10-6 at the end of three quarters.

Rochester scored the only two goals in the final fifteen minutes including one into an empty net.

Rock goal scorers were Law (2), Colin Doyle, Josh Sanderson, Rob Hellyer, and Dustin Dunn. Nick Rose played all but a few seconds in the Rock goal as Zak Boychuk played pinch runner for a few moments late in the game.


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