A fourth-quarter comeback by the Panther City Lacrosse Club led to an 11-8 loss for the Rochester Knighthawks in their second preseason matchup of the 2021-22 season on Saturday night at Brampton Memorial Arena.
Rochester forwards Holden Cattoni (2+2) and Carson Rees (2+2) led the offense with two goals and two assists apiece. NLL veteran Shawn Evans (1+3) had himself a four-point night with a goal and three assists, while transition player Cory Highfield (1+1) had a two-point effort along with veteran forward Curtis Knight (1+1). Newcomer Charlie Bertrand (1+0) rounded out the scoring for Rochester with his lone goal of the night.
Second-year goaltender Rylan Hartley got the start in the crease, making 39 saves on 44 shots, while netminder Joel Watson came in to finish up the contest, stopping four of the six shots he faced in net.
Panther City forward Mike Triolo (4+2) powered the offense with a six-point night, while forwards Taite Cattoni (2+2) and Dean Fairall (1+3) had four-point efforts. Former Knighthawk forward Phil Caputo notched a goal and an assist on the night, while forwards Ryan Benesch (1+1) and Will Malcolm (1+2) each added goals throughout the contest.
The first quarter was an even affair for the clubs, with each side scoring twice.
Just 32 seconds into the contest, Carson Rees got the Knighthawks on the board. Panther City would follow up with back-to-back markers, including one in the power-play, before Highfield notched his lone marker of the game to set the score at 2-2 with a second to spare.
As the second quarter ensued, it marked more back-and-forth action with the team’s evening up on goals once again.
Holden Cattoni scored on the power-play 1:20 into the stanza, marking his first of two in the quarter. Taite Cattoni, Holden’s younger brother, then evened the score at three apiece.
As Holden Cattoni notched his second of the quarter just 1:06 after his brother, Panther City came back with two more markers to take its first lead of the game thanks to back-to-back goals from Triolo. Evans rounded out the scoring in the second with his lone goal of the game to even the slate at 5-5 before heading into the half.
The third quarter was the first that Rochester ended with a one-goal lead. Both Carson Rees and Knight notched goals for the Knighthawks before Malcolm answered for the Panthers lone goal of the third to make the score 7-6 before heading into the final frame.
In the final quarter, Panther City went on to score three straight to take its third and final lead of the game. Bertrand was the lone Knighthawk to find the back of the net in the fourth quarter at the 6:38 mark before Panther City went back-to-back once more to seal the 11-8 win
The Knighthawks conclude their preseason slate with a showdown against the Albany FireWolves on Saturday, Nov. 27 at Segar and Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena before opening the 2021-22 NLL regular season on Saturday, Dec. 4 against the New York Riptide.