Rochester With Convincing Victory

by “Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

The NLL returned to New York’s Capital Region for the first time in almost 20 years as the Albany FireWolves hosted the Rochester Knighthawks at the Times Union Center on Saturday.

Rochester came in on the heels of the news that starting goaltender Evan Kirk would be unavailable to play for the remainder of the season due to a work commitment.

However, backup Rylan Hartley responded to his sudden promotion to starter with a stellar performance, allowing just four goals on 31 shots, and Rochester dominated most of the game to improve to 2-1 with a 16-7 victory. The FireWolves fall to 0-2 on the season.


After scoring the first goal in FireWolves’ history in their Week 1 loss to Toronto, transition player Tony Malcom scored the first home goal in FireWolves’ history just before the 4:00 mark for a 1-0 lead.

But the home crowd’s euphoria would quickly subside, as Rochester went on a 4-goal run over the next four and a half minutes. Charlie Bertrand (3g, 1a) struck first, beating Albany goalie Doug Jamieson at 5:47 to tie the game at 1. Holden Cattoni (4g, 5a; 6:32) continued his red-hot start to the 2021-2022 season, followed by Ryan Smith (3g, 2a) notching his first career goal (6:54; power play) and Thomas Hoggarth (1g, 3a; 8:23) to extend the Knighthawks’ lead to 4-1.

Andrew Kew (1g, 1a) trimmed the deficit to two at 10:42, closing scoring for the quarter.


The second quarter began with another 4-goal run by Rochester, as Albany appeared to be out of sync on both sides of the ball, and incurred two 5-minute major penalties on defenders Colton Watkinson (fighting) and Adrian Sorichetti (high sticking) during the quarter.

Curtis Knight (1g, 4a; 0:17), Cattoni (1:24), Turner Evans (1g, 4a; 6:25) on a power play, and Smith again (8:51), and the lead was now 8-2.

Jaob Ruest closed the gap to five with a power play marker at 9:32 to end the first half scoring.


The Knighthawks continued to outpace Albany as the second half got underway. Shawn Evans (1g, 4a; 1:35), Doug Utting (7:35), and a shorthanded goal by Bertrand at 12:30 offset the first of three goals from Joe Resetarits (11:25), and the third quarter ended with Rochester holding an 11-4 lead.


Cattoni’s third of the game at 0:45 and Ryland Rees (1g) at 2:18 chased Jamieson from the game.

Albany backup Ethan Woods would play less than a minute before flaring tempers finally boiled over at the 3:06 mark, as nine players were sent to the penalty box following a floor-wide melee that included Woods and Hartley shedding their jerseys and upper body pads to brawl.

Both netminders got in a few decent shots on each other before hitting the deck and getting ejected after being assessed game misconduct penalties. This could be the only downside for the Knighthawks, should the newly-minted starter Hartley be suspended by the league.

Jamieson reentered the game following the massive brawl, and the Knighthawks’ dominance continued, with Bertrand’s third (6:10), Cattoni’s fourth (9:16), and Smith’s third (12:23) finding the back of the net.

Albany countered with Jackson Nishimura (3:51; shorthanded) and Joe Resetarits twice (11:36, 13:35) closing a disappointing and forgettable night for the home team.


3 Stars of the Game

1st Star: Holden Cattoni
2nd Star: Shawn Evans
3rd Star: Turner Evans
Other Stats of Note
Power Play: ROC 2 of 6; ALB 1 of 4
Joe Nardella was one of few bright spots for Albany, winning 20 of 25 on faceoffs
Joel Watson (ROC): 8 saves, 3 GA in 12 minutes in relief of Hartley
Every Knighthawks forward recorded at least 4 points in the game, with Cattoni’s 9 points leading all players

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.