Outlook 2023-24 Rochester Knighthawks

2022-2023 Record 10-8, 4th in the East Division.  Lost to the Buffalo Bandits in the Conference Semi-Final.

New Faces:

Greg Harnett, Hunter Lemieux, Ethan O’Connor, Stephen Keogh, Connor Farrell, Kyle Waters, Dan Lomas, Thomas McConvey (2022 Entry Draft #1 overall pick), Kyle Kallay (Assistant Coach) & Dylan Evans (Assistant Coach)

Key Losses:

Holden Cattoni, Thomas Hoggarth, Thomas Vela, Paul Dawson & Gavin Prout (Assistant Coach)

Overview:

The Knighthawks started last season with a fury, winning their first six games.  In those victories, Rochester beat heavyweights like the Toronto Rock and Buffalo Bandits.   As the year wore on, injuries depleted the Knighthawks, exposing their lack of depth in certain spots.  Dan Carey made a conscious effort to bolster up all positions through trades and free agent signings.

Offense:

The offense was strong last season putting up big numbers with Connor Fields leading the way.  Turner Evans, Ryan Smith, Austin Hasen, Thomas Hoggarth, Curtis Knight and Holden Cattoni were very explosive all year.  

Gone are Cattoni and Hoggarth.  But, with the addition of Thomas McConvey, Kyle Waters, Dan Lomas, Hunter Lemieux, as well as Stephen Keogh, this Knighthawks team will be even more dangerous from in close, as well as from the outside.

Defense:

Losing the experience of Captain Paul Dawson is huge, but the free agent signing of Ethan O’Connor will definitely make up for that.  Greg Harnett will add toughness to an already sturdy defense.  Tyler Biles will be ready for anything thrown his way if the games get rough.  Veterans like Tyler Halls, Mitch Ogilvie, Brad Gillies and Dan Coates will make the Knighthawks strong in their own end, but also quick  getting the ball up the floor.

Faceoffs:

Connor Farrell should make a difference at faceoffs.  The 6’2 240 pounder has made a big name for himself in the PLL.  In 32 games he has recorded 8 points, 334 loose balls, and won 532 of 948 faceoffs (56.1%).  Also a two time PLL All-Star.

The Knighthawks have another competent faceoff man in camp in Joe Post.  Post appeared in 5 games last year collecting 28 loose balls while winning 48% of his faceoffs.  In the playoffs, Post collected 6 loose balls, and went 13 for 28 at the faceoff mark.

Transition:

This area was one that got depleted last season.  Extended injuries to Cory Highfield and Ryland Rees really affected the way the Knighthawks moved the ball up the floor.

This season Thomas Whitty, Ryland Rees, Ethan O’Connor, Jordan Stouros, Parker Pipher, Matt Gilray, Cory Highfield and Connor Farrell show that the Knighthawks have plenty of depth.

Goaltending:

Rylan Hartley was spectacular throughout the majority of the year.  He was able to answer his critics whether he could stay healthy in net all season.  Riley Hutchcraft had a great summer in net for the Brooklin Lacrosse Club, and will be fighting hard for the starters job as well.  The competition should keep both very sharp all season.

In Conclusion:

This is going to be a very exciting team this year, who will be able to play any game thrown at them.  They have plenty of speed and finesse, but compliment it with brute strength and a bit of an angry edge to their defense.   This team will definitely be one to watch out of the gate this season.

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.

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