Knighthawks Undefeated No More

Gary Groob
All Lacrosse All The Time  – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Rochester Knighthawks (6-1) sought their seventh straight win as they made their way north of the border for the first of two meetings against the Halifax Thunderbirds (4-3) at Scotiabank Centre. An offensive showdown showcasing the leagueโ€™s top two teams in terms offensive production was anticipated.

The Knighthawks, who remained the only unbeaten team through their first six games, entered the weekend leading the NLL with 84 goals scored and averaging exactly 14 goals per game. Halifax remains at a very close second with 83 goals while averaging 13.83 goals per game. Additionally, the top three point-getters for each team have either reached or surpassed the 30-point mark with Randy Staats, Clarke Petterson and Ryan Benesch leading the way for Halifax while the trio of Connor Fields, Holden Cattoni and Ryan Smith have paved the way for Rochester thus far.

The goalie match-up had Rylan Hartley in net for the Knighthawks against Warren Hill in net for Halifax.

A first half run of six goals staked the home Thunderbirds to an 8-2 lead before Rochester started their comeback.   Getting close at 8-6, a great individual play by Chris Boushy stopped the run of the Knighthawks.  Halifax then scored eight of the next nine goals en route to a 17-7 victory.   The Thunderbirds offensive attack saw scoring from eleven different players, with Austin Shanks (3g,5a), Chris Boushy (3g,0a), and Wake:Riat BowHunter (3g,0a) leading the way.  The Knighthawks never really got going with Warren Hill making 43 saves on the evening.

To The Game:

Rochester got on the board first when Turner Evans beat Warren Hill off an Austin Hasen pass at 1:10, but was answered immediately when Wake:Riat BowHunter tied the game with a laser off a Clarke Petterson feed at 3:04.  

Connor Fields regained the lead for the Knighthawks off a Ryan Smith pass at 6:41, but again was answered by the Thunderbirds when Austin Shanks scored just 0:11 seconds later.

The Thunderbirds caught fire scoring six more consecutive goals.  Ryan Terefenko scored unassisted at 8:40.  Ryan Benesch then converted a Clarke Petterson pass at 9:25, followed by Jake Withers just 0:16 seconds later to end the first quarter scoring.

After one quarter, Halifax 5 Rochester 2.

Second Quarter:

The Thunderbirds continued their run with Eric Fannell scored off a Clarke Petterson feed at 0:21 seconds, followed by Cody Jamieson converting an Eric Fannell feed 0:16 seconds later.  Austin Shanks increased the lead to 8-2 with a power play goal off a Ryan Benesch pass at 4:37.

The Knighthawks came alive with two goals to end the half. Holden Cattoni blasted a Jordan Stouros feed at 7:40, followed by Brad Gillies in transition converting a Matthew Bennett pass at 13:06.

At the half, Halifax 8 Rochester 4.

Third Quarter:

Rochester picked up where they left off with Connor Fields scoring at 1:52 on the power play, followed by Holden Cattoni also scoring on the power play off a Ryan Smith feed at 6:46. 

Chris Boushy’s great individual effort stopped the Rochester run at four goals, and changed the entire complexion of the game.  Tipping a Rylan Hartley pass, Boushy grabbed the loose ball scoring unassisted at 9:26.

After three quarters, Halifax 9 Rochester 6.

Fourth Quarter:

Halifax took control of the game in this quarter, riding it to victory.

Austin  Shanks scored his third of the evening, off an Eric Fannell pass at 0:28 seconds, followed by Graeme Hossack scoring in transition off a Shanks feed at 3:21.   Wake:Riat BowHunter scored his second of the night off a bounce shot at 4:08, followed by Chris Boushy scoring off an Eric Fannell pass 0:25 seconds later.

At this stage Rylan Hartley was replaced by Riley Hutchcraft in net for Rochester.   Tempers boiled over as Hartley left the floor. Hartley got involved with the Thunderbirds bench, earning him a five minute roughing penalty against a two minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to the Halifax bench.

Holden Cattoni stopped the Thunderbirds run scoring off a Ryland Rees pass at 5:16, but that was it for the Knighthawks offense.

Halifax welcomed Hutchcraft in the game when Chris Boushy scored his third of the night off a Randy Staats pass, hitting the far corner at 4:33, followed by Clarke Petterson scoring off an Austin Shanks pass 0:22 seconds later.  Wake:Riat BowHunter scored his third of the night to increase the Thunderbirds lead to 16-7.

Rochester was called with an illegal substitution at 14:29.  Since it was inside two minutes left, a penalty shot was awarded to Halifax.  Max Wilson took the shot and make no mistake.

Final score, Halifax 17 Rochester 7.

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal were in favor of Halifax 60-50.
  • Faceoffs were dominated by the Thunderbirds 24-3.
  • The loose ball battle went to Halifax 85-60.
  • Rochester went 2 for 6 on the power play, while Halifax went 1 for 3.

Top Scorers:

Rochester Knighthawks:

  • Holden Cattoni 3g, 1a
  • Ryan Smith 0g, 3a
  • Connor Fields 2g, 0a

Halifax Thunderbirds:

  • Austin Shanks 3g, 5a
  • Clarke Petterson 1g, 4a
  • Eric Fannell 1g, 3a

Don’t forget to check us out every Sunday night at 9pm (ET).

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.