Knighthawks Stay Alive With Dramatic Victory Over Swarm

The Rochester Knighthawks (7-10) played their first of two games during a crucial all-or-nothing weekend, looking to keep their playoff hopes against the Georgia Swarm (10-8) at Gas South Arena.

Despite being held to less than 10 goals in each of their last four games, the Knighthawks still rank fifth in the NLL in goals per game with 11.94 though playing one fewer game than the rest of the league. Additionally, the Knighthawks are fourth in the NLL in total shots-for (1,307) but continue to pace the league in average shots per game (81.69). 

The Knighthawks Joe Post has been nearly unbeatable at the center dot this season, winning 249-of 425 face-off attempts for a 58.6% success rate that ranks fifth-best in the league. His 249 wins, which as of last week are a new single-season franchise record, also rank fifth in the NLL while his 137 loose ball recoveries are 12th-most.  Georgia’s Jeremy Thompson ranks eighth in the league with 169 face-off wins. Since breaking into the league with Buffalo in 2012, Thompson has 2,385 face-off wins to his credit and has recovered more than 1,780 loose balls. A two-time All-American at Syracuse University, Thompson has recorded seven seasons with more than 200 face-off wins.

The goalie match-up had Rylan Hartley in net for Rochester facing Brett Dobson in goal for Georgia.

The Knighthawks took advantage of sloppy Georgia play, scoring twice on penalty shots.  Rochester also took advantage of missed assignments in front of the net.  Rylan Hartley looked good in the first half, and seemed to install confidence in his team in front of him.  At the half Rochester led 7-4.

Georgia played a much cleaner defensive game in the second half with hardly any turnovers.  Andrew Kew caught fire scoring three goals in the third quarter to give the Swarm the lead. 

The Knighthawks kept battling in the fourth and were rewarded when Ryan Smith scored with just 2:43 left.  The Swarm put the pressure on, but Rylan Hartley and the Knighthawks defense were up for the challenge.   Rochester keeps their slim playoff hopes alive with an 11-10 victory.

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To The Game:

The Knighthawks opened the scoring when Curtis Knight finished a Connor Fields pass from in front at 10:04, followed by Fields himself with a bounced shot off a Ryan Lanchbury pass at 5:51.

Lyle Thompson got Georgia on the board with a harmless shot that squirted past Hartley off an Andrew Kew pass at 7:15, followed by Seth Oakes tying the game with a bounced shot at 8:52.

Rochester took the lead on back to back penalty shots.  The first was awarded after Georgia took their third straight penalty in a two minute span.  Connor Fields made no mistake for his second of the night at 13:01, followed by one for too many men with under two minutes that Connor Fields then blasted in at 14:09 for his third of the game.

After one quarter, Rochester 4 Georgia 2.

Second Quarter:

Lyle Thompson got the Swarm within one on the power-play with a blast from the side of the net off an Andrew Kew feed at 2:04, followed by Shayne Jackson with a low to low blast 0:35 seconds later to tie the game once again.

Connor Fields got his fourth of the night from a bad angle that just snuck in off a Ryan Smith pass at 4:35, followed by Mitch Ogilvie in transition burying a Thomas Whitty pass at 7:56.  Kyle Waters added to the Knighthawks lead all alone in front off a Ryan Lanchbury one handed flip pass at 14:15.

At the half, Rochester 7 Georgia 4.

Third Quarter:

Bryan Cole got the Swarm on the board with a side arm shot to the far corner off an Andrew Kew pass at 2:40.  Kew himself then scored a natural hat-trick.  The first going in all alone in transition off a Jeremy Thompson pass at 5:10, followed by a blast converting a Lyle Thompson feed at 7:13 tying the game.  Kew then drove to the net finding the shortside off a Brendan Bomberry pass at 8:51 to give the Swarm their first lead of the night.

On a delayed penalty Turner Evans quick sticked a Ryan Smith pass at 14:06 to tie the game, but Seth Oakes scored his second of the game with a behind the back shot off a Lyle Thompson pass at 14:50.

After three quarters, Georgia 9 Rochester 8.

Fourth Quarter:

Thr Knighthawks got rolling in the fourth quarter.  Ryan Smith tied the game from in close off a Connor Fields pass at 1:01, followed by Mitch Ogilvie scooping up a rebound off a Dan Coates shot at 2:43 to take the lead.

Jordan MacIntosh tied the game once again in transition with a blast to the top corner off a long lead pass from Brett Dobson at 6:42, but Ryan Smith fired a high to low shot from in close off a Connor Fields pass at 12:13 to restore Knighthawks lead.

Final score, Rochester 11 Georgia 10.

The Three Stars:

1. Connor Fields
2. Andrew Kew
3. Brett Dobson

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal were 58-45 in favor of the Knighthawks.
  • The faceoff battle had a slight edge to Rochester 14-12.
  • The loose ball battle was won convincingly by the Knighthawks 74-60.
  • Rochester went 0 for 4 on the power-play, but scored twice on penalty shots.
  • Georgia went 1 for 3 on the power-play.

Top Scorers:

Rochester Knighthawks:

  • Connor Fields 4g, 4a
  • Ryan Smith 2g, 2a
  • Ryan Lanchbury 0g, 3a

Georgia Swarm:

  • Andrew Kew 3g, 5a
  • Lyle Thompson 2g, 3a
  • Seth Oakes 2g, 0a

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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.