Thomas Hoggarth completed the hat trick 1:30 into overtime to lift the Rochester Knighthawks (1-0) to a 13-12 season-opening win over the New York Riptide (0-1) Saturday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The contest served as the season-opener for both teams and just the second all-time meeting between the former expansion franchises.
Reigning Offensive Player of the Year Holden Cattoni picked up right where he left off from the 2019-20 season, leading the Knighthawks with four goals and six points while forward Shawn Evans scored once and added four assists for five points on the night. Rookie forward Charlie Bertrand made his National Lacrosse League debut, netting a pair of goals. Turner Evans, Ryland Rees and Cory Highfield (1+1) completed the scoring for Rochester. Dan Coates and Ryan Smith both appeared in their first game for the Knighthawks.
Goaltender Evan Kirk made his Knighthawks debut as he earned the start. The former NLL Goalie of the Year made 24 saves on 36 shots faced to pick up the victory.
WATCH: GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Jeff Teat, who was selected first overall by New York in the 2020 NLL Draft, tallied three goals and two assists while Connor Kearnan (3+0), Callum Crawford (2+1) and Scott Dominey (2+0) all finished the night with a multi-point effort. Jake Fox and Tyson Gibson both found the scoresheet as they tacked on a goal in the second quarter.
Gowah Abrams made his first appearance of the campaign for the Riptide, and despite finishing with 18 saves, he suffered the overtime defeat.
WATCH: HOGGARTH’S OVERTIME GAME-WINNER
As the Knighthawks first game of the 2021-22 campaign got underway, it would begin a back-and-forth battle from the first quarter on.
New York found its way onto the scoresheet first, as Teat scored his first National Lacrosse League goal. Teat found a little gap, got underneath and wrapped it around Kirk to set the score at 1-0.
The Knighthawks then went back-to-back to take their first lead of the game.
Cattoni ripped a shot towards the Riptide goal from above the right face-off dot that Abrams was initially able to slow down before trickling past the Riptide netminder to even the score. Not even a minute later, Cattoni and Turner Evans played a two-man game that saw Cattoni flip a pass back to Turner Evans once again at that right face-off dot, where he converted to up the score 2-1 for Rochester.
WATCH: TURNER EVANS’ FIRST OF THE SEASON
With 7:45 to go, New York tied it up once more in the first with a nice push on transition, however, the Knighthawks went back-to-back once again to finish up the quarter.
With 3:56 to go in the first, Shawn Evans picked the corner on a power-play goal before Rees doubled the score with just 1:13 left. On transition, Rees ran the ball up the floor and to the net, evaded a New York defender and snuck it past Abrams to push the score 4-2 to end the first.
Evans’ power-play marker in the first quarter was his 445th career goal, pushing him past Shawn Williams for ninth all-time in goals in NLL history.
When the second quarter began, it would take until 2:23 into the frame until New York saw its first back-to-back goals of the night.
In transition, New York pulled within one at the 12:37 mark before Crawford knocked in his first in a Riptide uniform just three minutes later. With quick-stick movement, Crawford walked towards the goal and fired the ball past Kirk to tie up the tilt at four apiece.
WATCH: BERTRAND SCORES HIS FIRST PRO GOAL
Not even 30 seconds later, the Knighthawks restored their lead, beginning with Hoggarth’s second of the game with 9:05 to go in the frame. Cattoni then went back-to-back to complete his hat trick on the night. First, he’d connect on a pass from Shawn Evans right up the middle of the floor before sitting back by the white line and ripping one in to set the score at 7-5 with 4:58 to go.
New York then finished up the second quarter by going back-to-back once more, beginning with a power-play marker. Then with 2:23 remaining, Fox waited for Kirk to dive across the crease to make it a one-goal game heading into the half with the score sitting at 7-6 in Rochester’s favor.
Heading into the third quarter a man-up, the Knighthawks couldn’t convert on their power-play opportunity before taking a penalty themselves. This then gave the Riptide their second man-advantage opportunity of the night, allowing the hosts to even the score at seven apiece thanks to Crawford’s second marker of the contest with 10:03 to go.
The two teams then exchanged goals before Highfield gave the Knighthawks a one-goal lead before the frame’s end. Approaching the crease, Highfield continued to creep forward while sending a pass back to Shawn Evans. Highfield then found a gap near the crease,accepted a pass back from Evans and sent it through the five-hole to set the score at 9-8 heading into the final frame.
With the final quarter underway the Knighthawks notched the frame’s first two markers just 1:08 in.
WATCH: HOGGARTH SCORES HIS FIRST AS A KNIGHTHAWK
Shawn Evans was at the left face-off dot when he faked as if he was making a pass before he ran the ball to the crease to push it into the net. Bertrand then followed up 41 seconds later by creating space and getting his hands in position for his second goal of the game and to make the score 11-8.
New York then went back-to-back in a 24-second span before Hoggarth completed a simple pick and roll right to the cage. As Hoggarth dove towards the crease, he knocked one in to set the score at 12-10 in favor of the Knighthawk, giving them a short-lived, two-goal lead. The Riptide, however, were quick to answer again, going back-to-back once more in the final frame to send the contest into overtime with both team’s sitting at 12 goals apiece.
As overtime ensued, Rochester maintained possession for most of the extra frame before Hoggarth scored just 90 seconds into to complete the hat trick and seal the 13-12 win for Rochester.
The Knighthawks return home for the first time in over 600 days on Saturday, Dec. 11 when they host the Buffalo Bandits for the first time in franchise history in the team’s 2021-22 Home Opener at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will be the first of three scheduled meetings between the intrastate rivals this season and will be carried live on 107.3 FM The Bull as well as ESPN+.