TONIGHT’S GAME OVERVIEW
The Rochester Knighthawks and Toronto Rock get reacquainted for the second time in three weeks tonight as the home-and-home series shifts across the border for a North Division showdown at Scotiabank Arena. The 7:00 p.m. matchup can be heard live on 107.3 FM The Bull as well as B/R Live. The contest will also be broadcast to a global audience on the “NLL Game of the Week”. Fans can catch all the action, free of charge, across B/R Live domestically and Twitter and Facebook worldwide.
LAST TIME OUT
The Knighthawks fell to 0-3 on the young season after seeing yet another comeback attempt come up short in a 14-11 loss to the Rock in the previous get-together between the two teams prior to the New Year. Facing a 12-5 deficit late in the third quarter, Rochester went on an impressive 5-1 run to make it a 13-10 game. Goals in the final minutes from Turner Evans and Curtis Knight would bring the Knighthawks as close as they would come before seeing their comeback bid fall just short for the second straight week. Knight led the way offensively for the Knighthawks with a team-high six-point (2+4) night while the duo of Shawn and Turner Evans combined for nine points. Steve Fryer earned his second straight start in net, turning aside 26 shots before being replaced by Craig Wende in the third quarter.
KNIGHTHAWKS TEAM AND LEAGUE LEADERS
Coming off his four-point effort in the previous matchup against the Rock, forward Holden Cattoni paces the Knighthawks in assists (8) and points (11) while also leading the team with 42 shots through his first three games of the season. Shawn Evans, who capped a five-point performance with a hat trick against Toronto, remains at a close second with 10 points while his five goals are most on the team. Rookie transition man Ryland Rees, Rochester’s second overall pick in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft, ranks among league leaders with a team-high 23 loose balls and Jay Thorimbert, who recently surpassed Geoff Snider for first all-time in league history in career face-off wins, is ninth in the NLL with 33 face-off wins this season, good for a .478 success rate at the face-off dot.
SCOUTING THE ROCK
Toronto comes into the matchup having won two straight following the 14-11 win in Rochester back on Dec. 28. Dan Dawson, a former Knighthawk in the previous organization, paced the Rock with seven points, including six assists, while Rob Hellyer and Dan Craig each scored four goals as Toronto won its second straight on the road to move within a game of Halifax for first place in the NLL’s North Division standings. Goaltender Nick Rose made 38 saves to pick up his second win of the season. The Rock own one of the most dynamic offensive units in the NLL with four different players averaging more than four points per game, including Craig, who leads Toronto with 14 points and is tied for the team lead with eight assists. Craig also scored the game-winner in each of Toronto’s two wins this season. Dawson, Hellyer and Tom Schreiber all have 13 points on the season while Hellyer continues to rank among league leaders with a team-high seven goals. A veteran of over 100 NLL games, Hellyer has spent his entire nine-year career with the Rock since breaking into the league for the 2011 season. A Second Team All-Pro selection in 2016, he needs just two more points for 500 in his pro career. Rose currently ranks fourth among all NLL netminders with 129 saves and is tied for fourth in wins (2).
DAWSON FAMILY REUNION…AGAIN
It’s a family reunion again tonight in Toronto for the Dawson brothers, but this time as opponents. The siblings have been somewhat of a packaged commodity over their combined 31 years in the NLL, having been teammates numerous times throughout their careers, including six seasons in Rochester with the previous Knighthawks franchise from 2013 to 2018. The duo won back-to-back NLL titles in 2013 and 2014 during the organization’s historic run of three straight league championships. Prior to playing alongside one another in Rochester, the Dawson brothers were also teammates in Boston (2009-10) and Philadelphia (2012) and were reunited against most recently last season in San Diego.
- Holden Cattoni needs seven more points for 200 in his pro career.
- Shawn Evans is 16 assists away from tying former teammate John Grant Jr. for fifth all-time in NLL history. The two-time NLL MVP is also three points away for 1,200 career points and would become just the sixth player in league history to reach the mark.
- Jay Thorimbert needs five loose balls to surpass Pat McCready for sixth all-time in league history.
UP NEXT FOR THE KNIGHTHAWKS
The Knighthawks open a rare two-game weekend on Saturday, Jan. 18 when they return home to host the defending NLL champion Calgary Roughnecks at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena for the only time this season. The 7:00 p.m. matchup will be carried live on 107.3 FM The Bull as well as B/R Live. Fans can stay up to date all season long with the latest Knighthawks news, stories and notes at www.rochesterknighthawks.com.