The Rochester Knighthawks traveled to Long Island to face the New York Riptide in a Sunday afternoon Week 7 tilt. The Knighthawks were the only undefeated team remaining in the NLL after San Diego’s loss to Calgary Saturday night. The Riptide lost three straight games to open the season, and were looking to right the ship. However, Rochester would capitalize on numerous penalties in the first half to build a 6-3 lead. The Knighthawks then prevented New York from sustaining any runs in the second half, winning 11-8.
Knighthawks make the most of undisciplined Riptide play
Connor Fields (4g; 1:13) opened the scoring, beating Riptide netminder Steven Orleman on a crease dive. After a pair of penalties on defenseman Damon Edwards, Ryan Smith (2g, 2a) followed with a power play marker at 8:09. Despite still being shorthanded, the Riptide responded, with Larson Sundown (2g, 1a; 12:55) netting a wraparound dunk. Reilly O’Connor (1g, 2a; 14:08) then leveled the score, taking a feed while on the wrong side of the crease and burying it short side on goalie Rylan Hartley.
The Knighthawks outscored New York 4-1 in the second quarter, as the Riptide committed five infractions, four of which came within a two-minute timeframe. The multitude of penalties resulted in a penalty shot for Rochester. Fortunately for New York, the shot from Fields rang off the pipe for no goal. Unfortunately, Holden Cattoni (2g, 2a; 6:18) and Fields (7:13) would tally power play markers while on a two-man advantage. Fields followed with two more scores (9:51; 13:01 power play) to make it 6-2 in favor of the Knighthawks. Sundown stopped the run a minute later with his second wraparound dunk of the game to cut the deficit to three going into halftime.
Steady second half play propels Knighthawks to win
New York got a pair of third quarter power play goals from Callum Crawford (3g, 1a; 5:47) and Connor Kearnan (2g, 1a; 9:44), but Rochester scored three transition goals to extend their lead. Ethan Schott (2:11), Ryland Rees (1g, 2a; 8:25), and Matt Gilray (1g, 2a; 12:48) restored the Knighthawks’ four goal lead. Hartley made 14 of his 33 saves in the third quarter, including a highlight-reel stop of Tyler Digby all alone on the doorstep of the crease.
Crawford went back-to-back (0:28; 0:51) to open the fourth quarter, trimming Rochester’s lead to two. However, Smith’s second of the game (1:13) and Cattoni’s second (8:00) pushed the lead back to four. Kearnan (13:58) tallied his second of the game to make it 11-8, but it was too little, too late for the Riptide.
With the win, Rochester remains the only undefeated team in the NLL, and has already exceeded their win total from last season. Additionally, three of their five wins have come on the road. They return home to Blue Cross Arena next Friday to face the Buffalo Bandits in an early battle for first place in the East Division. The Riptide travel to Albany next Saturday, still in search of their first win of the year.
Other Stats of Note
Shots on Goal: ROC 51; NY 41
Power Play: ROC 4 of 10; NY 2 of 7
Jay Thorimbert (NY): 12 Loose Balls (led all players)
Jeff Teat (NY): 5 assists
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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.