Written by “Muffler” Mike Kostiuk
Lax Philly – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network
The Albany FireWolves visited the Rochester Knighthawks at the Blue Cross Arena on Saturday for a Week 11 matchup. Albany had won 4 of their last 5 games, while Rochester had lost their last 4 games and were in danger of falling out of playoff contention. Sporting military-themed jerseys to honor veterans, the Knighthawks started out strong and finished strong in a 15-13 victory. With the win, Rochester swept the season series with the FireWolves and got back into the playoff picture in an ever-tightening East Division.
The Knighthawks started getting to Albany goalie Doug Jamieson early and often. Shawn Evans (1g, 8a) opened the scoring at 2:49, followed by cousin Turner Evans (2g, 3a) at 3:47. A minute later, Holden Cattoni (4g, 1a) announced his return to the lineup. Albany struck back with Ryan Benesch (3g, 5a) finding twine at 8:49, but Rochester would respond with a rather quirky 3-goal run.
Ryan Smith (3g, 1a; 11:50) scored shortly after having had a goal waved off for a crease violation. Then, after Jamieson turned aside another Knighthawks shot, Thomas Hoggarth (3g; 13:40) instinctively reached out his stick in front of the crease and deflected Jamieson’s outlet pass to himself, leaving a wide open net on which to shoot. Lastly, Turner Evans (14:26) notched his second goal, snagging a looping rebound that Albany players may have thought was going to clear the glass for a change of possession, and firing short side through a screen and past Jamieson.
Jacob Ruest (2g, 2a; 14:58) scored one of two buzzer-beater goals on the night for Albany to close the first quarter with Rochester leading 6-2. Joe Resetarits (4g, 4a), the NLL’s Player of the Week for Week 10, continued his recent tear with a power-play marker at 6:12 of the second quarter. Reilly O’Connor (1g, 2a; 7:54) cut the deficit to two before Cattoni scored his second two minutes later. Benesch (12:47) responded with his second before Resetarits beat the halftime buzzer with his second power play goal at 14:58 to make it 7-6 in favor of the home team.
The third quarter saw just two goals (both for Rochester) and another quirky circumstance. Matt Gilray (1g; 4:47), having brought the ball up in transition, decided to stay on the offensive shift. The gamble paid off as he found himself receiving an inside feed while on the doorstep of the crease. He shoveled in an underhand shot with his back to the net, stunning the defense, and pushing the lead back to two. Cattoni’s hat trick marker at 10:47 put Rochester up 9-6.
The fourth quarter saw a combined 13 goals. Benesch opened the scoring bonanza with his third, and the third power play goal for Albany at 0:52. Resetarits followed with his third at 1:09 to close the gap to 9-8. Cattoni (1:47) countered with his fourth. Andrew Kew (2g, 3a; 3:22) again cut the lead to one before FireWolves’ faceoff specialist Joe Nardella and Knighthawks defenseman Matt Bennett engaged in a fight after Albany defender Nick Chaykowsky was checked over the boards into the Albany bench on the ensuing faceoff.
The fight would ultimately serve to benefit the Knighthawks, as Hoggarth would score his second goal 10 seconds after the major penalties were assessed, then score his third on a power play at 8:14 to push the lead back to three. Albany would get no closer than two goals the rest of the way as the teams traded the remaining seven goals. Jackson Nishimura shorthanded (1g; 8:45), Resetarits’ fourth (11:46), Ruest’s second (14:16), and Kew’s second (14:49) for the FireWolves. Smith’s second and third (11:28, 13:59), and Ryland Rees with an empty net marker at 14:31 for Rochester, who improves to 3-5. Albany falls to 4-4 on the season.
3 Stars of the Game
- 1st Star: Shawn Evans
- 2nd Star: Joe Resetarits
- 3rd Star: Holden Cattoni
Other Stats of Note
- Power Play: ALB 3 of 3; ROC 1 of 2
- Nardella (ALB): 25 of 30 on faceoffs
- Nishimura (ALB): 12 Loose Balls (led all players)
- Rylan Hartley (ROC): 35 saves
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.