Rochester Punches Golden Ticket To The NLL Playoffs

The Rochester Knighthawks needed one win to get into the NLL playoffs and they couldn’t wait for the Philadelphia Wings to enter Blue Cross Arena. However, Philly just took a W out from Colorado the week prior. So while the Wings might not have been playing for their chance at the playoffs, they were playing for pride and playing for one another to win. But with Rochester in control of their destiny, they wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. It was 6-2 by the end of the first quarter, and Rochester coasted to a 12-3 win over Philly, punching the last golden ticket into the NLL playoffs. Will the Knighthawks bring this same energy against the number one seeded Toronto Rock next weekend?

Fields A One Man Wrecking Crew for Rochester

If there’s any player in the NLL who knows how to get under the skin of this Wings team, it’s Connor Fields. He was a one man wrecking crew this game, causing the Philly defense tons of pain by scoring 6 of his 7 goals for the game in the first half, including four straight in the second quarter. Philly couldn’t do anything to stop him. Fields hit nice spin moves, created space, and scored off the set screens cutting through defenders while being in double coverage. His eight-point night gave him 120 points on the season, the fourth best total in the league, and his 56 goals were second best, two behind Jeff Teat of the New York Riptide. As one of the top players in the NLL, Fields should get some consideration for league MVP with his performance this year.

Not All Is Lost In Philly

Even though Philly didn’t have an answer for Rochester, there are some positives to take away from the season. Philly was one of only five teams in the league with a winning record on the road (5-4). Mitch Jones had his second consecutive season of 100+ points, finishing just behind Fields in 5th place with 111. Joe Resetarits nearly recorded his fourth 100-point season, falling five points short. Goaltender Zach Higgins set an NLL single-season record for saves with 757. Sam LeClair (40 points) more than doubled his offensive output from last year as the third option on the right side of the offense.

The Wings’ front office can now focus on improving the roster for next season. They own the number 1 overall pick in the upcoming NLL Draft. They also have two second round picks, a fourth rounder, a fifth rounder, and two sixth round picks. However, following the game, head coach and GM Paul Day announced he would be stepping down from the coaching role, while remaining in the role of GM. It will be interesting to see who the Wings bring in as new head coach, and what they do with that top pick, including the possibility that they trade it to upgrade the defense with known, proven back end players.

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Pat Bernard
Pat Bernard

Pat Bernard has four years of podcasting. His first year with the Pattison Ave Phantics and four years running Devereaux Sports. Now currently, both Devereaux Sports and Edge of Sports. Pat is a  for 6 Philly sports fan.  Flyers, Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, Wings, and Union. The Gobbler is a former pro wrestler and ACPW Hall of Famer! He is originally out of Ambler from Northeast Philly (by the Tacony Bridge).  Pat is a credentialed Philadelphia Wings Beat Reported under Edge of Philly Sports.