Doug Utting was just one of 10 rookies that saw significant playing time on the Rochester Knighthawks active roster during the 2019-20 campaign. The 28-year-old defenseman made his mark here in the Flower City, proving to be a force that couldn’t be taken out of the Rochester lineup game after game.
As Utting appeared in all 12 games for the Knighthawks this past year, it seems there’s a lot to cover when it comes to his top moments from his first year in the NLL. From Fan’s Choice to his first NLL goal, here’s a look at Utting’s top three moments from the 2019-20 season.
1. GETTING HIS SHOT
A native of Wallaceburg, Ontario, Utting was one of 10 rookies to make his professional debut with the Knighthawks this past season after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent on Aug. 1, 2019. In 12 games with Rochester, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound defenseman scored one goal and collected 47 loose balls with nine penalty minutes. Additionally, Utting finished the season with 15 shots and seven caused turnovers.
Utting joined the Knighthawks following three seasons with the Peterborough Timbermen (ALL), where he recorded 17 goals, 26 assists and 43 points in 36 contests. He also appeared in two playoff games. Prior to joining the Timbermen, Utting spent two seasons at Nipissing University (AUCC) from 2015-17. During his second season with the Lakers, Utting, who was named an All-Canadian Defensive midfielder, finished second on the team in scoring, producing 38 points (27+12) in 12 games while serving as one of the team’s captains.
Utting made his NLL debut on Opening Night for the Knighthawks back on Nov. 30 against the Georgia Swarm and remained in the lineup from that point forward.
2. COAST TO COAST
You’d think that scoring your first goal, you’d remember almost every single second leading up to that monumental moment in your career. For Utting, though, this moment was a little different as the adrenaline in a tight-knit contest against the New York Riptde back on Feb. 29 seemed to outweigh the milestone he had reached at that exact moment.
At this point, Utting would even say that he seemed to have “blacked out” during the entirety of the play that led to his first NLL goal.
“In terms of actually scoring, I kind of blacked out in that moment. I had to watch it a couple of times after the game to figure out what exactly happened.”
WATCH: YEAR IN REVIEW WITH DOUG UTTING
Well Utting, let’s break it down for you.
As the Knighthawks held off a late push from the Riptide for a thrilling 13-12 victory, the rookie defenseman’s lone tally came in the third quarter to push the score to 7-4 in Rochester’s favor. Utting would collect a loose ball and broke away for his first NLL career goal on the power-play.
3. FAN’S CHOICE
To cap a thrilling rookie season, Utting was named the Fan’s Choice Favorite Player, presented by Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, for the team’s inaugural season.
“Doug winning this award is a testament to his work ethic,” said Knighthawks General Manager and Vice President of Lacrosse Operations Dan Carey. “It took him a long time to make a roster in this league, and he is a prime example of hard work paying off. He comes ready to play every game.”