TONIGHT’S GAME OVERVIEW
The Rochester Knighthawks (3-12) set out on their final road trip of the season tonight as they make their way to Long Island for an intrastate showdown against the New York Riptide (5-10) at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The 7:30 p.m. contest will be the third and final meeting between the two teams this season and will be carried live on 107.3 FM The Bull as well as ESPN+. MSG will also carry the broadcast in respective regional markets.
|TEAM ROSTERS||GAME NOTES|
|2021-22 NLL STATS PACK||KNIGHTHAWKS PLAYER BIOS|
|2021-22 RIPTIDE STATS||2021-22 KNIGHTHAWKS STATS|
|2021-22 NLL STANDINGS||LISTEN LIVE ON 107.3 FM THE BULL|
SEASON SERIES SNAPSHOT
The season series is all even at one game apiece after the Riptide came away with a 15-12 win in the previous get-together between the two teams on March 12 in Rochester. It was the second straight win by the road team in the series following a 13-12 season-opening win for the Knighthawks in New York back Dec. 4. Rochester was able to pull within a goal after falling behind 6-0 in the opening quarter, but ultimately could not close the gap completely in what turned out to be a back-and-forth affair at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena. Knighthawks forward Thomas Hoggarth led the Knighthawks with a career-high five goals and six points. His five goals tied a franchise record while adding his fourth multi-goal effort of the season. Ryan Smith (2+2) and Turner Evans (1+3) both collected four points apiece while Curtis Knight (1+2), Ryland Rees (1+1), Holden Cattoni (1+2) and Matt Gilray (0+2) all turned in a multi-point performance. Smith’s four-point effort was his eighth straight multi-point game dating back to Dec. 11. Tyler Halls scored his first professional goal in the third quarter while goaltender Joel Watson posted 37 saves in what would be his first of five straight starts. Jeff Teat, the first overall selection in the 2020 NLL Draft, paced the Riptide to their third win of the season as he produced a pair of goals and seven assists for a game-high nine points. The Knighthawks and Riptide, who both joined the league as expansion franchises prior to the 2019-20 season, have nearly identical records but in different locations as Rochester boasts a 2-6 record on the road while New York is at 2-5 at home. New York comes into the matchup with the second-best offense in the NLL, one that is averaging 11.80 goals per game through its first 15 games of the season. The Riptide are tied for third overall with 177 total goals scored. Conversely, however, both teams have allowed a league-high 186 goals this season and are averaging 12.40 goals-against. Only Panther City has allowed more goals. Both Rochester (3-1) and New York (5-0) have winning records when leading after the third quarter but are winless when trailing after three quarters. A win tonight for Rochester would snap a season-long seven-game skid as well as a six-game road winless streak dating back to Jan. 22.
LAST TIME OUT
Challen Rogers’s second goal of the game with 2:54 remaining broke a 9-9 tie as the Toronto Rock pulled away from the Knighthawks (3-12) in the closing minutes of regulation and held on for an 11-9-win this past Saturday at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena. Ryan Smith led the Knighthawks with a four-point night, including his sixth hat trick of the season, while Ryland Rees (2+0), Jeff Wittig (1+1), Holden Cattoni (1+1), Charlie Bertrand (0+2) and John Wagner (0+2) all finished with two-point efforts as Rochester saw its winless streak reach seven games. Joel Watson made his fifth straight start, recording 42 saves in the losing effort. Rochester native Jared Conners made his professional debut while also recording an assist for his pro point. Bradley Voigt, who signed with Rochester earlier in the week for the remainder of the season, also made his Knighthawks debut after beginning the season with the Georgia Swarm. Veteran defenseman Dan Coates also scored his goal as a Knighthawk and first since his final season with the Colorado Mammoth in 2019-20.
KNIGHTHAWKS BOLSTER BACK END
Only three games remain in the season, but the Knighthawks bolstered their back end with the addition of defenseman Jake Pulver, who agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the remainder of the campaign. Pulver, 25, is new to the indoor game following four seasons in the Premier Lacrosse League, over which he recorded four points (1+3) and 66 groundballs in 31 career games with the Cannons, Chrome and Dallas Rattlers from 2018 to 2021. A native of Manlius, N.Y., Pulver played his collegiate lacrosse at Cornell University, where he was a three-time All-Ivy League defender, including a Unanimous First-Team selection in 2018, and was named a Third-Team USILA All-American as a senior during the 2018 season. In 42 career games with the Big Red, Pulver, a former high school All-CNY Player of the Year, recorded three points (1+2) and finished eighth in the program’s history with 38 caused turnovers, including 21 during his senior campaign. A two-time team captain, the 6-foot-0, 215-pound defenseman was also Cornell’s Senior CLASS Award winner for men’s lacrosse after leading the Big Red to an Ivy League Tournament championship and an appearance in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse quarterfinals in 2018. A four-year starter, Pulver also guided Cornell to an Ivy League title in 2015 as well as an NCAA National Tournament appearance later that same year.
ROOKIE SHOWDOWN ON LONG ISLAND
Despite both team’s offensive struggles this season, tonight’s matchup features two of the league’s top three rookies in New York’s Jeff Teat and Rochester’s Ryan Smith. Taken just two picks apart from one another in the 2020 NLL Entry Draft, both Teat (first overall) and Smith (third overall) have taken their first season in the NLL by storm with Teat leading all rookies in all offensive categories, including goals (31), assists (52) and points (83). Smith, meanwhile, ranks third among all first-year players in goals (28), sixth in assists (22) and third in points (50). Teat and Smith are also first and third among rookies in power-play scoring with 17 and 15 points on the man-advantage, respectively, while they’re also the top two in shots with 129 and 123. Both players took similar paths to the NLL and are products of the two of the biggest powerhouse programs in NCAA Division I history with Teat, who ranks seventh in the league in overall scoring and remains one of only two NLL rookies leading his respective team in points, having played his collegiate lacrosse at Cornell University and Smith at Robert Morris. Teat, who’s arguably the top prospect in the game of lacrosse today, is the most decorated player to come out of Cornell University. A three-time USILA All-American and a four-time Inside Lacrosse Media All-American, Teat became the first player in Big Red history to be selected No. 1 overall in an NLL Draft, and the third lacrosse player ever to be selected first overall in both indoor and outdoor professional lacrosse leagues. Teat, the son of former Knighthawk Dan Teat, received All-Ivy accolades on three occasions, including unanimous All-Ivy selections in 2018 and 2019. Teat finished his college career third in the Cornell record books with 268 points and 152 assists while also cracking the top-10 in ninth place with 116 career goals. He is one of just two players in Big Red history to post three consecutive 30-goal, 30-assist seasons and is one of just four to record 70 points in three straight campaigns. As a fifth-year graduate student in 2021, Smith set career-highs with 48 goals and 71 points, while also establishing single-season records for points (71), points-per-game (5.46) and goals-per-game (3.69). More impressively, Smith recorded hat tricks in 11 of his 13 appearances this past season and registered multiple-assist outings on seven different occasions. He finished the season ranked second nationally in goals-per-game and fourth in points-per-game en route to earning All-America Honorable Mention accolades from USILA, Inside Lacrosse, US Lacrosse Magazine and College Crosse. Over his illustrious five seasons with the Colonials, Smith, who was on the Tewaaraton Award Watch List for much of the season, scored 142 goals and totaled 217 points in 69 career games, all of which are most in program history. He ranks second all-time in career points-per-game (3.14) and games started (59) and third in goals-per-game (2.06) and assists (75). He is also a three-time All-Northeast Conference selection and remains the only player in RMU history to win NEC Rookie of the Year honors.
SCOUTING THE RIPTIDE
The Riptide return home this weekend after keeping the playoff hopes alive following a 15-12 win over the league-leading Buffalo Bandits last Saturday at KeyBank Center. New York stormed out to a 6-1 lead in the opening quarter and used a seven-goal run on their way to handing the Bandits just their third loss of the season and first on home turf. Teat continued his impressive rookie campaign with his second nine-point outing in five games which was highlighted by a career-best six goals. Teat has now recorded seven hat tricks in 15 games this season and is currently averaging more than 5.5 points per game entering the weekend. New York’s other offensive weapon comes in the form of veteran forward Callum Crawford, who in recent years has established himself as one of the NLL’s perennial point-getters. Crawford, who’s in his first season with New York after leading the NLL in scoring during the 2019-20 season as a member of the New England Black Wolves, is currently 10th in the league in points (77) and 16th in assists (44) through 13 games this season. The four-time NLL All-Pro selection and 2019-20 MVP finalist is also third in the NLL in power-play scoring with 23 points on the man-advantage, including a team-high 16 power-play assists. New York has the ninth-best power-play in the league this season after going 29-for-66 for a 43.9% conversion rate. The Riptide have also gone 12-for-29 at home this season on the power-play, good for a 41.4% success rate through their first seven home contests.
- Holden Cattoni needs just one more point to reach 300 in his pro career.
- Jared Conners recorded his first point with an assist in his pro debut against Toronto on April 9.
- Mitch Ogilvie scored his first pro goal at Halifax on April 1.
- Curtis Knight recorded his 400th pro point with an assist at Halifax on April 1.
- Tyler Halls scored his first pro goal against New York on March 12.
- Thomas Hoggarth recorded his 100th pro point on his third goal of the night in the 15-12 loss against New York on March 12.
- Paul Dawson became the eighth player in NLL history to reach 500 penalty minutes on Feb. 5.