The Rochester Knighthawks (9-4) fought their way back from a 6-3 deficit but fell 9-8 in the first minute of overtime Sunday afternoon to the Philadelphia Wings (6-7) at Segar and Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
Both teams traded multi-goal runs in each half before the Wings closed out the game with three straight for the win, including the game-winner from Rochester native Blaze Riorden just 19 seconds into overtime.
Much like he has all season, Connor Fields paced the Knighthawks offense, factoring in on six of Rochester’s eight goals. In addition to scoring his 39th and 40th goals of the campaign, Fields established a new franchise-record for assists (42) in a season as he tallied four in the contest. He now holds the single-season franchise marks for points, goals and assists, all of which were captured over three consecutive weeks.
Holden Cattoni (2+2) and Ryan Smith (2+1) each scored twice while Thomas Hoggarth (1+2) finished with a three-point effort. Austin Hasen, Dan Coates and Ryland Rees all chipped an assist while Turner Evans (1+0) rounded out the scoring.
Knighthawks netminder Rylan Hartley (9-4) made his 13th consecutive start between the pipes, stopping 45 shots in the defeat, including 17 in the second quarter. Hartley also tallied an assist on Fields’ second-quarter goal and finished the night surpassing the 1,000-save mark for his pro career.
Wings forward Joe Resetarits (1+6) led all players with six assists and seven points while Mitch Jones (2+2), Ben McIntosh (2+0) and Taite Cattoni (2+0) all tallied two goals in the win. Riorden, (1+4), who scored the game-winning goal 19 seconds into overtime, and Chad Tutton (0+3) all registered multi-point performances while Eric Shewell (1+0) completed the scoring.
Philadelphia goaltender Zach Higgins (6+6) appeared in his 13th contest of the season and second of the weekend, stopping 48 shots in the win.
Facing a 6-3 deficit to start the second half, Rochester’s offense erupted for five straight goals to take a two-goal advantage midway through the fourth quarter.
Prior to the Knighthawks run, Philadelphia appeared to take a 7-4 lead as Riorden scored 2:45 into the quarter. The goal was challenged by Rochester, and after a video review, the call on the field was reversed.
Rochester used the momentum to pull within one when Fields provided a helper on both Smith and Cattoni’s tallies just 21 seconds apart to close out the third quarter.
Turner Evans doin’ it ALL…and finishing with a BEAUTY of a behind-the-back shot pic.twitter.com/wZHPxLlARz
— NLL (@NLL) March 19, 2023
With the Wings holding a narrow 6-5 lead at the start of the final quarter, Smith and Cattoni each added their second of the contest to flip the deficit into a one-goal advantage, Rochester’s first of the night.
The Knighthawks extended their lead to 8-6 as Evans grabbed a loose ball in the crease following a misplay from the Wings defender and fired a behind-the-back shot past a sprawling Higgins at the 7:24 mark.
As quickly as Philadelphia allowed a pair of goals, they evened the score with goals 57 seconds apart as McIntosh and Resetarits both found the back of Hartley’s net to force the game into overtime.
In the extra frame, Philadelphia won the opening faceoff and immediately called a timeout.
Following the break, Jones gave the ball to Resetarits in the middle of the offensive zone before Riorden received a pass from Resetarits. The Fairport native rifled a shot from the midline out in-front of Hartley that trickled past the netminder to secure the 9-8 win for the Wings.
In the first quarter, the two clubs exchanged goals to begin the scoring nearly four minutes apart on Jones and Fields’ markers. –
Rylan Hartley, everybody. https://t.co/74S1xacCNt
— Rochester Knighthawks (@RocKnighthawks) March 19, 2023
Philadelphia responded to close out the opening 15 minutes of play by scoring three unanswered goals from Shewell, Taite Cattoni and Jones.
Trailing 4-1 to start the second quarter, Fields added his second of the contest from Rees and Hartley before Hoggarth converted a rebound off the end boards from Holden Cattoni and Smith.
A pair of coach’s challenges reversed two different calls on the turf, but helped changed the score in a positive way for Philadelphia prior to the end of the half.
On the first of the two, McIntosh fired a shot from the right of Hartley that was originally called no goal as a Philadelphia player ran through the crease with 3:55 remaining in the quarter.
Shortly after that reversal, Rochester had an odd man rush towards Higgins. The netminder initially made the save, but as he attempted to start a breakout pass, Smith knocked it down and fired it overtop the right shoulder of the goaltender.
Philadelphia again correctly challenged the goal, and it was reversed as Smith stepped into the crease and was then first player to touch the ball afterwards.
Rochester faced a 6-3 deficit to begin the second half, and despite outscoring the Wings 5-3 in the final 30 minutes, the club was on the wrong side of a one-goal affair, the team’s fourth straight decided by one goal.
The Knighthawks embark on a two-game road swing beginning on Saturday, Mar. 25 with the first-ever meeting with the Las Vegas Desert Dogs. The 10:30 p.m. ET. faceoff from Michelob Ultra Arena will be carried live on Big 107.3 FM as well as ESPN+.