The Rochester Knighthawks’ offensive unit has been electric to kick off the 2022-23 National Lacrosse League campaign, producing 40 goals over its first three games of the season. One of those players contributing to the early offensive surge is alternate captain Curtis Knight.
“It’s a good question. I don’t know if I can pinpoint why we’ve had more success on offense this year,” said Knight when asked where this kind of offensive chemistry is stemming from so early on. “The thing that I’ve noticed is it just seems everyone’s playing unselfish and is kind of just happy to get wins, so it’s like everybody is contributing and the defensive team or the other team can’t just pinpoint one person and, if they do, someone else is scoring.”
Knight is coming off his best game of the season this past Saturday against the Albany Firewolves, combining for seven points on two goals and five assists, already reaping the benefits of “team first” mindset early in the year.
“It’s just everybody touching the ball,” elaborated Knight when asked how the unselfish play of the team has benefited his personal game. “I think everyone just moving the ball around contributes to guys getting points. We’re moving the ball around a lot and, yeah, it kind of gets you in the flow and when you’re in that (flow) you’re just picking up assists here and there and guys are scoring.”
Over the summer, Knight signed a two-year deal with Rochester and returned for his third season with the Knighthawks after finishing second on the team in scoring with 61 points on 23 goals and 38 assists while being one of four players to appear in 18 games during the 2021-22 campaign. Knight also ranked third with 109 shots while serving as an assistant captain for the second straight year.
Two goals and seven points against the FireWolves…
Curtis had himself a Knight! pic.twitter.com/MMMZDwZecZ
— Rochester Knighthawks (@RocKnighthawks) December 18, 2022
Prior to joining the Knighthawks, the Oshawa, Ontario, native spent the first six seasons of his NLL career with the Saskatchewan Rush from 2013-19, recording 307 points (122+185) and 350 loose balls in 99 games. Knight helped the Rush to six consecutive first-place finishes in the regular season while also leading the team to a pair of NLL titles over a three-year span.
Being that it’s Knight’s 10th year in the league, he’s always trying to level up his game while also maintaining the standard he’s set for himself in past seasons.
“I think in the past, like when I was in the first couple of years in the league, you focus more on building strength, size, putting on some muscle and weight. I’d say that’s shifted to just maintaining the strength, but also focusing on things like mobility,” commented Knight when asked how the league veteran continues to try and level up his game as each new season comes along. “You kind of just shift what’s more relevant to your game. I no longer need to be the biggest, strongest guy. Now, I mean, it’s not really about improving. I guess it’s more about maintaining.”
While the Knighthawks have begun the 2022-23 season with their best start in franchise history with three straight wins, Knight and company are looking to maintain the level of competitiveness they’ve been bringing to the floor after the New Year hits.
“I think what we do in the next two or three weeks is going to be pretty important,” Knight explained when asked how the team can keep the offensive momentum going after the turn of the calendar year. “Coaches have already been honest about making sure we’re in the gym. We have some film assignments, so if we can keep doing the things that we would normally do in a weekly routine, then I think we can continue the success.”
Knight and the Knighthawks look to continue their early season success when they return home following the annual Christmas break on Saturday, Jan. 7 as the Panther City Lacrosse Club makes its inaugural visit to Rochester. The 7 p.m. matchup from Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena will be the only meeting of the season between the two teams and will be carried live on Big 107.3 FM as well as ESPN+.