Knighthawks Even Record, Climb Into Playoff Spot

The Rochester Knighthawks traveled to MVP Arena in Albany to face the FireWolves in the second of a home-and-home series. Rochester beat Albany at home last week to extend their winning streak to two; another win would put them back at the .500 mark. The FireWolves, meanwhile, were looking for revenge and to keep pace with league-leading Toronto. A six-goal run in the first and second quarters proved to be enough for Rochester to escape with an 11-10 win. They improve their record to 6-6, and leapfrog New York and Panther City, both of whom lost this weekend, into 7th place in the Unified Standings. Albany drops to 10-4 with their second straight loss to Rochester. While the FireWolves remain just one game behind Toronto for the league lead, they fall to third place behind 10-4 San Diego, who owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with Albany.

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Six-goal run puts Knighthawks up at half

Ryan Lanchbury scored just 21 seconds into the game to put Rochester up 1-0. Tye Kurtz equalized for Albany at 3:07. A minute and ten seconds later, Kyle Waters put the Knighthawks up again, but Alex Simmons (7:15) knotted the game at 2-2. Rochester then went on a six-goal run into the second quarter. A pair of power play goals form Connor Fields (9:21; 12:56), and a transition marker form Matt Gilray (9:46) made it 5-2 after one quarter of play. Lanchbury went back-to-back (3:47; 4:58) and Ryan Smith (6:12) extended the Knighthawks’ lead to 8-2. Kurtz (11:24) broke the run and Ethan Walker added a power play goal (13:10) to cut the FireWolves’ deficit to 8-4 at the half.

Knighthawks weather FireWolves’ comeback to sweep series

Mitch Ogilvie scored in transition (2:07) to open the second half, extending the lead to 9-4. The FireWolves put together a four-goal run to narrow the margin to one. Goals from Patrick Kaschalk (3:09), Travis Longboat (6:28), Walker (9:27), and Sam Firth (13:04) made it 9-8. Rochester then got power play goals from Thomas McConvey (13:35) and Fields (1:48 fourth quarter) to push the lead back to three, 11-8. Albany would again close the gap to one, with Simmons (11:51) and Marshall Powless (12:16) finding the net. But they could not find a way to force overtime.

The Knighthawks will look to get above .500 and improve their playoff position with a road game against Colorado, before hosting Halifax and New York. Albany will need to navigate a rather difficult road in order to get back on track before the playoffs. They travel to Calgary next week, then return home for a marquee showdown against Toronto, before finishing on the road at Panther City and at New York. However, it appears the FireWolves can clinch a playoff berth with a win over Calgary, plus a loss by either Halifax or Buffalo in Week 17.

Other Stats of Note

Knighthawks: Lanchbury (3g, 2a); Fields (3g, 1a); Smith (1g, 3a); McConvey (1g, 2a); Turner Evans (4a); Curtis Knight (3a)

FireWolves: Walker (2g, 5a); Simmons (2g, 5a); Kurtz (2g, 1a); Kaschalk (1g, 1a); Firth (1g, 1a); Powless (1g); Longboat (1g)

Power Play: ROC 4 of 5; ALB 1 of 4

Riley Hutchcraft (ROC): 40 saves; Doug Jamieson (ALB): 50 saves

“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.

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