Knighthawks Playoff Plans Up In The Air with Upset By FireWolves

The Albany FireWolves (3-12) faced the Rochester Knighthawks (9-7) on Saturday night at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY.  This was the second and final time the two teams would meet this season, with the Knighthawks taking the first meeting 14-13 back in December.

Ethan Walker has been on a tear over the past three games recording 14 total points over this stretch, leading the team.  Marshall Powless has scored 13 total points on four goals and nine assists as well.   

For Rochester, Connor Fields has 46 goals, and 47 assists for 93 points.  Fields ranks second overall in the NLL in goals and is tied for fifth in total points.  Holden Cattoni ranks second on the team across the board in total points (73), goals (32), and assists (41). 

A recipe for disaster:

The FireWolves came into the matchup with the worst-ranked power-play.  It has gone 21-for-61 for a 34.4% conversion rate. Conversely, the Knighthawks have the top penalty kill in the league after successfully killing off 29-of-46 shorthanded situations, allowing a league low 17 power-play goals through the first 15 games of the season.

The goalie match-up had Doug Jamieson in net for Albany facing Rylan Hartley in net for Rochester.

Albany got off to a good start getting up 3-0 in the first quarter, before Thomas Hoggarth would get the Knighthawks on the board.  A more balanced second quarter had the FireWolves head to halftime with a 7-4 lead.  The highlight of the quarter was a heavyweight tilt between Brent Mitchell and Tyler Biles.

Rochester looked to get back in the game in the third quarter with three goals in 1:06 bringing the game within one goal at 10-9.  Albany scored two quick goals in the fourth to stop the momentum.  The Knighthawks made one more push to get the game within one goal, but a controversial goal with just 0:33 seconds left sealed Rochester’s fate.

To The Game:

Tanner Thomson opened the scoring for Albany converting a Marshall Powless pass just 0:51 seconds into the game.  Nick Chaykowsky made it 2-0 unassisted in transition at 5:54, followed by Connor Kelly finishing off a Jake Fox feed at 10:08 stunning the Rochester faithful.

The Knighthawks finally got on the board when Thomas Hoggarth scored off a Connor Fields pass with just 0:17 seconds left in the quarter.

After one quarter, Albany 3 Rochester 1.

Second Quarter:

Connor Kelly increased the lead beating Rylan Hartley off an Ethan Walker pass just 0:19 seconds into the quarter, but Holden Cattoni blasted a shot past Doug Jamieson off a Mitch Ogilvie pass at 4:22.  Jackson Reid then went coast to coast in transition for his first NLL goal.

John Piatelli increased the FireWolves lead converting a Tanner Thomson pass at 5:48.  Then, a spirited tilt between Brent Mitchell of Albany against Tyler Biles of Rochester.

Ryan Smith and Holden Cattoni narrowed the lead to 6-4 for the FireWolves, but with just 0:39 left in the half Tanner Thomson increased the lead to three with his second of the night.

At the half, Albany 7 Rochester 4.

Third Quarter:

Holden Cattoni scored his third of the night to open the third quarter scoring converting a Connor Fields pass at 1:53.  Jake Fox came back with a Sportscenter highlight of the night wrap around dunk that beat Rylan Hartley at 2:19.

Connor Fields answered scoring while jumping across the crease off a Turner Evans feed at 6:06. It was his 100th point of the season.  Jake Fox answered back with his second of the game, followed by Connor Kelly with his third of the game to increase the lead to 10-6 at 12:38.

The FireWolves looked to have the game well at hand.  The Knighthawks then erupted foe three goals in 1:06 to tighten the game.  Curtis Knight scored on the power-play of a Connor Fields pass at 13:10, followed by Fields himself scoring just 0:34 seconds later, then Knight scoring again off a Matt Gilray feed 0:32 seconds after that.

After three quarters, Albany 10 Rochester 9.

Fourth Quarter:

The FireWolves were able to restore their three goal lead, scoring two quick goals to start the fourth.  Tanner Thomson opened the scoring off a Connor Kelly feed 0:55 seconds into the quarter, followed by Jackson Reid’s second of the night at 2:09.

Holden Cattoni answered back quickly converting a Thomas Hoggarth pass 0:37 seconds later, but Connor Kelly’s fourth of the night restored the three goal lead. 

Thomas Hoggarth, followed by Curtis Knight would bring this to a one goal game with just over two minutes left.  The Knighthawks were pressuring trying to get the equalizer but Doug Jamieson was outstanding. 

With just 0:33 seconds left Connor Kelly scored his fifth of the night, but the controversy was whether the shot clock had expired or not.  The officials reviewed the goal (all goals under two minutes are reviewed), but deemed “inconclusive eveidence”, since it was a goal on the field, the call stood.

Final score, Albany 14 Rochester 12.

The Three Stars:

1. Connor Fields
2. Connor Kelly
3. Tanner Thomson

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal 54-51 in favor of Rochester.
  • Faceoffs were controlled by the Knighthawks 19-11.
  • The loose ball battle was won by Rochester 76-65.
  • Albany went 1 for 3 on the power-play, while the Knighthawks were 1 for 1.

Top Scorers:

Albany FireWolves:

  • Connor Kelly 5g, 2a
  • Marshall Powless 0g, 6a
  • Tanner Thomson 3g, 2a

Rochester Knighthawks:

  • Connor Fields 2g, 8a
  • Holden Cattoni 4g, 1a
  • Curtis Knight 3g, 2a

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Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.