TONIGHT’S GAME OVERVIEW
The Rochester Knighthawks (1-7) are back on the road tonight looking to get back in the win column as they travel to Mohegan Sun Arena to take on the New England Black Wolves (4-3) for the only time this season. Opening face-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. and can be heard live on 107.3 FM The Bull as well as B/R Live.
LAST TIME OUT
For the second straight game, the Knighthawks surrendered a late goal in the final seconds of regulation before falling in overtime as they suffered a heartbreaking 11-10 loss to the Vancouver Warriors on Feb. 9. Holden Cattoni led the Knighthawks with an eight-point effort on the strength of two goals and six assists to retain the team’s scoring lead while Shawn Evans finished with six points (2+4). Phil Caputo notched his first hat trick of the season on his way to a four-goal night while Cory Highfield (1+1), Turner Evans (1+1) and Curtis Knight (0+2) all recorded a pair of points. Rookie netminder Rylan Hartley made his first professional start and made 47 saves, which featured 29 in the second half, but suffered the loss.
VIEW FROM ROCHESTER
Averaging six points per game through his first eight games, Cattoni’s explosive start to the 2019-20 season has him tied for fifth in the NLL in scoring while continuing to pace the Knighthawks in all offensive categories in goals (15), assists (33) and points (48). The fourth-year pro comes into the weekend ranked third in the league in assists, trailing only Vancouver’s Mitch Jones and Philadelphia’s Kevin Crowley in that category. He’s also tied for fifth in the NLL with nine power-play assists, five of which have come over his last three games. Cattoni, who’s one of just three Knighthawks players to record at least one point in every game so far this season, is just two points away from his third straight 50-point season and remains on pace to shatter his career-high 80-point campaign which he set last season as a member of the Georgia Swarm. Shawn Evans, meanwhile, remains at a close second with 40 points on 14 goals and 26 assists in addition to a team-high 22 penalty minutes. Evans makes his first trip back to Mohegan Sun Arena since calling New England home for two and half seasons from 2016-18. In 43 games with the Black Wolves, Evans totaled 272 points, including a career-best 50 goals during the 2016 campaign and back-to-back 100-point seasons prior to being acquired by Buffalo at the 2018 trade deadline. Rochester’s power-play is one of the most potent in the league with a 46.88% success rate that ranks fifth-best in the league. To date, the Knighthawks have scored 15 goals on 32 man-advantage opportunities this season and come into the weekend boasting a remarkable 80% conversion rate over their last three games, going 8-for-10 on the power-play over that span.
EVANS CONTINUES TO CLIMB
Not long 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 in the 16-15 overtime loss at Buffalo on Jan. 31, Evans surpassed John Grant, Jr. for fifth all-time in league history. His other notable 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. Evans will also pass Shawn Williams for ninth all-time in goals (445) on his next goal.
SCOUTING THE BLACK WOLVES
New England, wrapping up a season-long six-game homestand tonight, comes into the matchup on a three-game slide following a 14-11 setback to the Georgia Swarm this past Sunday. Callum Crawford, the team’s leading point-getter through the first half of the season, led the Black Wolves with a six-point night (3+3) while Joe Resetarits, a former Knighthawk in the previous organization, scored a team-high four goals. New England, which opened the season as one of the hottest teams in the league with four straight wins, has now dropped three straight to fall to third in the NLL’s East Division standings. Crawford has been the player to watch up to this point of the season as the veteran forward ranks eighth in the NLL in scoring with 43 points (19+24) in seven games. A three-time All-Pro Second Team selection, Crawford is also tied for sixth in the league with 19 goals. More impressively, Crawford has scored a hat trick in five of his first seven games this season, including a five-goal outing as part of a career-high 14-point performance in the 21-11 win over the New York Riptide back on Dec. 27. The 16-year pro is coming off a banner year in 2019 that saw him score a career-high 48 goals and finish with 109 points, the second time in five years he topped the 100-point mark in a season. Andrew Kew ranks seconds among all NLL rookies with 27 points (9+18) while goaltender Doug Jamieson, whose appeared in all seven games this season, ranks third among and fourth all netminders with a 9.21 goals-against average and a .820 save percentage, respectively.
- Curtis Knight needs just two more assists for 200 in his career.
- Shawn Evans needs six more goals for 450 in his career.
- 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.
UP NEXT FOR THE KNIGHTHAWKS
The Knighthawks return home on Saturday, Feb. 29 when they welcome the only visit of the season from the New York Riptide. The 7:00 p.m. matchup will be the only meeting of the season between the NLL’s two newest franchises 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.