The Rochester Knighthawks faced the Georgia Swarm at Gas South Arena on Sunday in the final game of Week 15. The Knighthawks were coming off their third loss of the season in a nail-biter against Toronto last week. The Swarm were on a two-game winning streak after winning both ends of a home-and-home against Albany.
In the highest scoring game this season, the Knighthawks won 19-18 to improve to 9-3. Rochester remains a half-game behind Toronto for second place in the East, and one game behind Buffalo for first place. They host the Philadelphia Wings next Sunday. Meanwhile, the Swarm fall to 2-8, their two-game winning streak snapped. The Swarm play at Philadelphia on Saturday.
Knighthawks take halftime lead after multiple runs
Rochester opened the game with a five-goal run to silence the crowd at The Hive early. Connor Fields (1:10) started the offensive slugfest, with Holden Cattoni (2:56) making it 2-0. Fields tallied his second at 5:38, Ryland Rees (6:07) followed, then Fields netted his hat trick goal (8:17) to make it 5-0 in favor of the visitors. Seth Oakes (9:12) finally broke the run and got the Swarm on the board. The teams then traded goals in the last 20 seconds of the quarter. Ryan Smith (14:41) scored for Rochester, while Brendan Bomberry (14:56) countered for Georgia to make it 6-2 after one quarter.
Cattoni’s second (0:22) gave the Knighthawks a 7-2 lead to open the second quarter, but Georgia rallied with five unanswered to tie the game. Andrew Kew (1:20), Shayne Jackson (1:46), the second from Oakes (3:25), Kew’s second (3:52), and Bomberry’s second (4:17) leveled the game. Unfazed, Rochester would push their lead back to four with another run. Fields’s fourth (6:06), Cattoni’s hat-trick goal (6:59), Thomas Hoggarth (9:39), and the fifth from Fields (12:31) put the Knighthawks up 11-7. Lyle Thompson got on the board for Georgia at 13:22. But Hoggarth’s second with four seconds left kept the lead at four, 12-8, entering halftime.
Knighthawks withstand furious late rally by Swarm
Thompson (0:17) and Jackson (1:44 power play) each opened the second half scoring their second goal to halve the deficit. The Knighthawks answered with Turner Evans (2:40) and Hoggarth’s hat-trick tally (3:00) to restore the four-goal lead. Kew’s third (3:28) narrowed the gap to three, but Rees scored his second (5:25), pushing the margin back to four. Oakes then went back-to-back (9:03; 14:59) to cut Rochester’s lead to 15-13 entering the final frame.
Kason Tarbell appeared to make it a one-goal game at the start of the fourth. However, a replay review led to the goal being overturned. The Knighthawks swung the momentum back their way, as Smith went back-to-back (0:58 power play; 4:13), and Hoggarth netted his fourth (4:44) for an 18-13 lead. The Swarm would mount one last charge. Thompson (9:23) and two more from Jackson (10:24; 10:53) trimmed the lead to 18-16. Dan Coates (13:11) scored for the Knighthawks to seemingly put the game out of reach, but Jackson (13:24) and Oakes (14:18) each netted their fifth goal of the day to pull within one. However, Georgia could not find the equalizer, and Rochester escapes The Hive with a gutsy win.
Other Stats of Note
Faceoffs: ROC 13; GA 26
ROC: Connor Fields 5g, 5a; Holden Cattoni 3g, 5a; Thomas Hoggarth 4g, 4a; Ryan Smith 3g, 4a; Ryland Rees 2g, 1a
GA: Shayne Jackson 5g, 3a; Seth Oakes 5g, 1a; Lyle Thompson 3g, 7a; Andrew Kew 3g, 4a; Brendan Bomberry 2g, 2a
Jackson scored his 300th career goal and 400th career assist during the game
Rylan Hartley (ROC): 41 saves
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“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.