The Rochester Knighthawks (4-14) held a 10-7 lead going into the fourth quarter in the regular-season finale on Saturday, but the Halifax Thunderbirds (11-7) scored six straight to pull away with a 13-10 win at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
The matchup was the third all-time meeting between the clubs and the inaugural contest in Rochester after the first two games came north of the border, including most recently back on April 1.
Rochester’s offense was led by forwards Charlie Bertrand (1+4), Curtis Knight (2+2) and Thomas Hoggarth (2+2) as the trio combined for five goals and eight assists for 13 points. Holden Cattoni (0+2), Dan Coates (0+2), Ryan Smith (2+0) and Jeff Wittig (1+1) all chipped in a pair of points for a multi-point game. Ryland Rees and Jared Conners both scored to complete the scoring while Matt Bennett added an assist.
Goaltender Joel Watson (1-9) made his eighth straight appearance in the crease for Rochester, and despite finishing with a career-high 45 saves, he suffered the loss.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Halifax, who is playoff-bound after finishing the season in the third place in the NLL’s Eastern Conference, was paced offensively by forwards Eric Fannell (1+5), Austin Shanks (1+4), Clarke Petterson (1+3) and Cody Jamieson (2+2), all of whom recorded a multi-point game. Forwards Brandon Robinson and Chris Boushy both scored a hat trick in the win while Stephen Keogh added his 15th goal of the season to round out the scoring.
Netminder Warren Hill (9-6) earned his ninth win of the campaign while stopping 47 of the 57 shots he faced.
After seeing the Knighthawks score three goals in the third quarter to take a 10-7 advantage while being shutout, Halifax awakened in the final 15 minutes of regulation.
With three markers in 48 seconds, including a pair from Jamieson, the Thunderbirds evened the game at 10-10 at the 1:47 mark.
Five minutes later following Jamieson’s second tally of the night, Boushy finished off his hat trick as he gave Halifax its first lead of the matchup with 8:16 remaining in regulation.
Fannell ended his six-point effort to make it a 12-10 score as he teamed up with Shanks and Ryan Terefenko at the 10:27 mark.
With just under three minutes in the quarter, Watson was pulled for an extra attacker to help the Knighthawks chip into the deficit, however, Colton Armstrong sealed the 13-10 win.
Rochester began the first quarter with a pair of goals just seven seconds apart as Conners, who scored his first professional goal, and Rees gave the home team an early 2-0 lead.
The teams exchanged the next four goals before Hoggarth and Smith made it a 5-2 advantage at the 12:58 mark, but Halifax responded with a pair of tallies to trim the lead at the end of the opening quarter.
The Knighthawks pushed their lead to 7-4 near the 8:00 mark, but the Thunderbirds tied the score at seven going into the half.
Rochester took a 10-7 cushion into the fourth quarter until Halifax stormed back with six straight goals for the 13-10 win.