TONIGHT’S GAME OVERVIEW
The Rochester Knighthawks travel to Wells Fargo Center tonight, where they’ll meet the Philadelphia Wings in the back half of a two-game weekend. The 7:00 p.m. matchup will be the first and 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.
LAST TIME OUT
The Knighthawks battled back from a 12-11 deficit with two fourth-quarter goals and held on for the final seven minutes of regulation as they took down the defending NLL champion Calgary Roughnecks in thrilling fashion Saturday at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena for their first win in franchise history. The 13-12 victory also snapped Rochester’s four-game slide to begin the season. Curtis Knight (3+3) and Holden Cattoni (1+5) each notched six points while Shawn Evans ended the night with five assists. He and Cattoni remain within one point of each other through the first five games of the season. Turner Evans also contributed four points (1+3) while Ryland Rees and Thomas Whitty also found the back of the net for their first NLL goals. Craig Wende, who got the start for the second straight week, was brilliant in net making 42 saves, including several big stops late in the fourth quarter, to pick up his first pro win.
KNIGHTHAWKS TEAM AND LEAGUE LEADERS
Cattoni, who’s totaled 15 points (6+9) in his last two games, remains Rochester’s top point-getter, leading the team in goals (9), assists (17) and points (26) through the first five games of the season. He comes into tonight ranked ninth in the in NLL in scoring while his nine goals are 17th-most among league leaders in that category. Evans remains at a close second with 24 points while his 17 assists are tied with Cattoni for the team lead and are tied for sixth in the league. Rees, Rochester’s second overall pick in the 2019 NLL Entry Draft, ranks among league leaders with a team-high 40 loose balls.
EVANS JOINS ELITE COMPANY
With his nine-point effort last Saturday in Toronto, Evans became just the sixth player in NLL history to reach 1,200 career 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. Evans notched his 1,200th point with a goal just 53 seconds into the second quarter and now trails only John Tavares, Josh Sanderson, Dan Dawson, Colin Doyle and John Grant for the most points all-time in league history.
SCOUTING THE WINGS
The Wings, who like the Knighthawks are playing their second game in as many nights, come into the matchup on the losing of an 8-7 overtime loss to the New England Black Wolves last night at Mohegan Sun Arena. Philadelphia led 5-2 at the half but were outscored 5-2 over the final 30 minutes of regulation before Callum Crawford completed the hat trick 3:47 into overtime to snap the Wings’ franchise-long three-game win streak. The Wings own one of the top 10 scoring forwards in the league in Kevin Crowley, who paces the team in all offensive categories, including goals (10), assists (16) and points (26) through five games this season. Crowley returned to Philadelphia for the 2018 campaign after spending the first three years of his pro career with the previous Wings franchise, leading the team to back-to-back playoff appearances while reaching the 70-point mark during all three campaigns. The Philadelphia native is currently tied for ninth in the NLL in goals and assists while averaging close to six points per game. Kiel Matisz paces all defense/transition players in scoring with three goals and nine assists for 12 points. He also leads that group in shots on goal with 27. Trevor Baptiste is 90-for-120 at the faceoff dot this season. Coming into tonight, that leads the league by one face-off win over Halifax’s Jake Withers. He also ranks second in the league in loose balls behind only Withers. Goaltender Zach Higgins has carried much of the workload so far this season. He boasts a 3-2 record while ranking fourth among all netminders in wins (3) and fifth in saves (207). Guiding the Wings into their second season is an all-too-familiar face behind the bench in head coach and general manager Paul Day, whose more than 20 years of coaching experience includes four championships as an assistant coach with the original Knighthawks franchise.
- Shawn Evans is four assists away from tying former teammate John Grant Jr. for fifth all-time in NLL history. He also needs 13 more goals for 450 in his career.
- Knighthawks defenseman Matt Bennett appeared in his 50th pro game last night against Calgary.
UP NEXT FOR THE KNIGHTHAWKS
The Knighthawks and Buffalo Bandits revive one of the fiercest rivalries in the NLL on Friday, Jan. 31 when the North Division foes face-off at KeyBank Center in downtown Buffalo. The 7:30 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.