Forwards Connor Fields (4+3) and Thomas Hoggarth (4+0) each scored four goals while goaltender Rylan Hartley made a career-high 50 saves as the Rochester Knighthawks (2-0) picked up an 11-7 victory over the visiting Toronto Rock (1-1) Saturday at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena Segar & Sciortino Field.
The win gives Rochester its second straight victory of the season and marks the first time in franchise history that team started unbeaten through its first two games of the campaign. It’s also Rochester’s first-ever win against the Rock after coming up winless in all four previous matchups against Toronto dating back to their inaugural 2019-20 campaign.
Fields and Hoggarth fueled the Knighthawks offense as they both produced four goals while Holden Cattoni (0+3), Curtis Knight (0+3) and Turner Evans (0+2) all posted multi-assist performances. Mitch Ogilvie (1+0), Jordan Stouros (1+0), Brad Gillies (0+1) and Austin Hasen (0+1) rounded out the scoring as they had one point each. Fields also added three assists to cap a seven-point night, giving the reigning NLL Player of the Week eight goals and 17 points through his first two games of the season.
Goaltender Rylan Hartley stopped 50 of the 57 shots he faced to earn his second win of the season. The netminder faced 32 shots in the second half, turning aside 30, which included all 14 in the final 15 minutes of regulation.
Stephen Keogh (3+0), a former Knighthawk in the previous organization, Corey Small (1+2) and Tom Schreiber (1+2) all registered three points for Toronto, which suffered its first loss of the season after a 19-8 rout last week against Vancouver. Challen Rogers (1+1), Dan Craig (0+2), Zach Manns (1+0), TD Ierlan (0+1), Brad Kri (0+1), and Adam Jay (0+1) all found the scoresheet.
Rock goaltender Nick Rose (1-1) got the nod for the second time this season and stopped 31 shots in the loss.
Holding a 10-7 lead to begin the fourth quarter, the Knighthawks took three consecutive penalties. Each time, though, the club got timely saves from Hartley and the defense stood tall to keep the Rock off the board.
As the game was nearing its completion, Toronto pulled Rose for the final two minutes in an attempt to begin a comeback, but Ogilvie sealed the 11-7- victory with an empty-netter.
It was the Fields and Hoggarth show in the opening quarter as the duo combined for five goals.
After the Rock tied the game at 1-1 midway through the first quarter, Hoggarth scored a natural hat tick in 3:12 to give the Knighthawks a 4-1 lead at the 6:05 mark.
Less than two minutes later, Fields, who earned an assist on each of Hoggarth’s goals and factored in on six of Rochester’s first seven goals of the night, netted his second of the frame before Manns and Keogh capped off the scoring in the first.
The Knighthawks extended their advantage to 8-3 as Fields, Hoggarth and Smith all filled the back of Rose’s net in a stretch of 4:53.
Before the end of the first half, the two clubs exchanged goals 64 seconds apart before Schreiber added a last second goal.
Rochester took a 9-5 lead into the break as well as a 25-22 shot-advantage.
Following the break, the home team cushioned its lead on Fields’ fourth of the night from Cattoni and Smith.
Toronto countered back with two straight when Keogh capped off his hat trick to make it a three-goal deficit, but it would be as close as they could get before Ogilvie added the lone fourth-quarter goal.
The Knighthawks look to continue their winning ways as they travel to MVP Arena to face the Albany FireWolves on Saturday, December 17. Faceoff is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be available on Big 107.3 and ESPN+.