Halifax Beats Rochester, Stays In Hunt For Home Playoff

The Halifax Thunderbirds faced the Rochester Knighthawks at Blue Cross Arena Saturday night in Week 18 action. Rochester had their three-game win streak snapped with a loss to Colorado last week. Meanwhile, Halifax entered the game having lost three of their last four games. Hat tricks from Cody Jamieson and Dawson Theede and a 45-save performance from Warren Hill anchored a 12-9 victory for the Thunderbirds. Halifax improves to 9-7 with the win; they remain the #5 seed. The Knighthawks fall to 6-8 with the loss; they are now tied with Calgary and Saskatchewan for 9th place in the Unified Standings.

Philly Sports Trips Generic

Halifax and Rochester stay even at halftime

Halifax continued their trend as the highest-scoring first quarter team in the league. Aaron Woods (5:05), Cody Jamieson (13:59 power play), and Dawson Theede twice (10:57; 14:52) found the net for the Thunderbirds. Rochester countered with goals from Curtis Knight (6:27) and Ryan Smith (13:35), but trailed 4-2 after 15 minutes. The roles reversed in the second quarter, as the Knighthawks got two goals each from Thomas McConvey (0:42; 3:40) and Connor Fields (1:55; 9:18). Jamieson’s second (5:03) and a power play marker from Ryan Benesch (12:20) pulled Halifax even, 6-6 going into halftime.

Halifax pulls away with big third quarter

Theede (0:46 power play) netted his hat trick goal to start the third quarter. Clarke Petterson followed with a pair (3:40; 7:53) to put Halifax up 9-6. Turner Evans broke the run at 11:01, but Jamieson (11:33) and Woods (13:22) struck again to give the Thunderbirds an 11-7 lead heading into the final frame. Smith’s second (3:02 power play) cut the deficit to three, but Benesch scored his second power play goal (6:32) to make it 12-8. Ryan Lanchbury (13:28) got one back for Rochester, but they could not close the gap as time expired.

Other Stats of Note

Thunderbirds: Jamieson (3g, 3a); Theede (3g, 3a); Benesch (2g, 5a); Petterson (2g, 4a); Woods (2g)

Knighthawks: Smith (2g, 3a); Fields (2g, 2a); McConvey (2g); Lanchbury (1g, 3a); Knight (1g, 2a); Evans (1g, 1a)

By way of Halifax’s win, the Albany FireWolves have officially clinched a playoff berth. Five playoff spots still remain up for grabs.

Cody Jamieson played in his 200th game for the Thunderbirds/former Knighthawks organization, the most in team history

Ryan Benesch played in his 271st career regular season game, placing him 6th all-time in NLL history. With his two goals, Benesch also passed Dan Dawson for 4th place all-time on the career goals scored list (552).

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.