TODAY’S GAME OVERVIEW
The Rochester Knighthawks (1-6) look to get back in the win column this afternoon when they take on the Vancouver Warriors (3-5) at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena for the only time this season. The 2:00 p.m. matinee can be heard live on 107.3 FM The Bull as well as B/R Live.
LAST TIME OUT
Another back-and-forth offensive battle came down to the final few seconds of regulation as the Buffalo Bandits scored with eight seconds remaining to force overtime before winning in the extra frame to hand the Rochester Knighthawks a 16-15 loss last Friday at KeyBank Center. Holden Cattoni bested his own career-high with a 10-point effort on the strength of three goals and seven assists to retain the team’s scoring lead while Shawn Evans finished with four goals and eight points – including the go-ahead goal with 1:49 to play – in his return to Buffalo. The two-time NLL MVP also surpassed former teammate John Grant, Jr. for fifth all-time in assists in NLL history and moved to within eight goals of 450 for his pro career. Curtis Knight also had a hat trick to go along with two assists and a team-high 14 shots while Steve Fryer and Craig Wende combined for 34 saves in the loss for the Knighthawks. Rochester went 3-for-3 on the power-play and outshot Buffalo 65-57, marking the first time the Knighthawks outshot an opponent this season.
WATCH: CURTIS KNIGHT PRE-GAME
KNIGHTHAWKS TEAM AND LEAGUE LEADERS
Cattoni, who’s averaging more than five points per game through his first seven games of the season, has moved inside the NLL’s top five point-getters after becoming the first Knighthawk this season to reach the 40-point mark in the team’s previous matchup against Buffalo. He continues to lead the team in goals (13), assists (27) and points (40) as well as power-play assists (6) and overall shots (108). The fourth-year pro comes into the weekend just seven points off the NLL scoring lead and one of only seven players to reach the 40-point mark this season. Cattoni, who has two hat tricks in his last four games, is tied for the 17th in the NLL in goals and tied for third in assists, trailing only Dhane Smith of the Buffalo Bandits and Randy Staats of the Georgia Swarm for the league lead in that category. He’s on pace to shatter his career-high 80-point campaign which he set last season as a member of the Georgia Swarm. Evans, meanwhile, remains at a close second with 34 points on 12 goals and 22 assists in addition to a team-high 22 penalty minutes. Ryland Rees, Rochester’s second overall pick in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft who scored his first two pro goals in the 13-12 win over Calgary back on Jan. 18, is tied for 15th among all transition players with a team-high 52 loose ball recoveries, 10 of which came in last Friday’s matchup in Buffalo.
EVANS CONTINUES TO CLIMB
Nearly a month after becoming just the sixth player in NLL history to record 1,200 career points, Shawn Evans continues to climb up the league’s all-time scoring lists. With his fourth assist of the game last Friday against the Bandits, Evans surpassed John Grant, Jr. for fifth all-time in league history. His other significant milestone came back on Jan. 11 in Toronto when he joined Grant and four others as the only players in NLL history to reach 1,200 points. It didn’t take him long either as the 15th-year pro recorded a point on each of Rochester’s first six goals of the contest, including the primary assist on all three first-quarter scores, before notching his 1,200th point with a goal just 53 seconds into the second quarter. He’s also currently ninth in goals (442).
WATCH: RYLAN HARTLEY PRE-GAME
SCOUTING THE WARRIORS
Vancouver makes its only trip to Rochester this season fueled by eighth-year forward Mitch Jones, who leads the Warriors in all offensive categories, and as of this morning, paces the NLL in overall scoring with 47 points (20+27) in eight games. Jones is also third in the league in goals (20) and tied for third in assists (27) and comes into the weekend leading all NLL players with 142 shots. Jones is coming off a banner year in 2019 that saw establish career-highs in assists (48) and points (83) while reaching the 35-goal mark for the second straight season. Vancouver owns two of the top point-producing defensemen in the league in Matt Beers (2+6) and Sam Clare (2+5), who are tied for fourth and fifth in scoring amongst all defensemen, respectively. A big reason for Vancouver’s success as of late can be attributed to its stingy defensive play. Anchored by fifth-year goaltender Eric Penney, the Warriors allowed only 11 combined goals-against heading into Friday’s matchup against Buffalo with Penney recording nearly 100 saves in the back-to-back wins for Vancouver. Penney, who boasts a 2-5 record this season, ranks 10th in the league in both wins (2) and saves (305) while his .813 save percentage is the seventh-best among all NLL netminders.
- Curtis Knight needs just four more assists for 200 in his career.
- Shawn Evans needs eight more goals for 450 in his career. He also needs three more goals to pass Shawn Williams for ninth all-time in league history.
- Defenseman Jay Thorimbert, who earlier this season became the NLL’s all-time leader in face-off wins, needs two more loose balls for 1,600 in his career.
- Knighthawks forward Turner Evans appeared in his 50th pro game against Philadelphia on Jan. 19.
WATCH: PAT O’TOOLE PRE-GAME
UP NEXT FOR THE KNIGHTHAWKS
The Knighthawks travel to Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, Feb. 22 to face-off against the New England Black Wolves. The 7:00 p.m. matchup will be the only meeting of the season between the two teams and can be heard 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.