The Rochester Knighthawks (9-5) brought the month of March to a close as they made their lone trip out west for their inaugural meeting with the Las Vegas Desert Dogs (5-8) at Michelob ULTRA Arena.
The Knighthawks have topped the 50-shot mark in 11 of their first 13 games, which includes 10 of the last 11 dating back to Dec. 17 against Albany. With wave after wave of offensive players on their roster, the Knighthawks are a difficult foe to prepare for.
Las Vegas dropped it’s first four games of their inaugural season before finding it’s stride after the New Year. Winning three of its next four, the Desert Dogs closed out the month of February with three straight wins. But Vegas has continued to struggle, coming into the weekend amid a three-game skid. Fueled offensively by veterans Rob Hellyer and Zack Greer. Hellyer leads the team in with 64 points, appearing in all 12 games this season. Greer has scored a team-high 23 goals in 11 games.
The goaltending match-up had Landen Kells in net for the Desert Dogs against Rylan Hartley for Rochester.
On an emotional Tucker Out Lymphoma Night honoring Shawn Williams’ son Tucker, who passed away from Burkitt’s Lymphoma in 2014, the Dogs played one of their most complete games of the season. Landon Kells made 41 saves while allowing just seven goals, while Jack Hannah led the hosts with six goals.
A five-goal second quarter had Vegas up 6-4 at the half. The Knighthawks opened the third quarter with a goal to cut the lead to one but the Desert Dogs responded with five of the next six goals to put the game out of reach, winning 12-7.
To The Game:
Rochester opened the scoring on the power-play with Ryan Smith converting a Holden Cattoni pass at 6:45. The Desert Dogs evened the score when Jack Hannah beat Rylan Hartley off a Marshal King feed at 10:13.
After one quarter, Las Vegas 1 Rochester 1.
Connor Fields gave the Knighthawks the lead once again converting a Ryan Smith pass just 0:29 seconds into the quarter, but four Vegas goals in under two minutes changed the complexion of the game.
Jack Hannah scored his second of the night off a Rob Hellyer feed at 2:37, followed by Connor Kirst scoring off a Jacob Ruest feed just 0:16 seconds later to take the lead 2-1. Rob Hellyer increased the lead to two converting a Jack Hannah feed at 4:08. Zack Greer made the lead three when he finished off a Connor Kirst pass at 5:26, but two from newcomer Parker Pipher brought the Knighthawks within one. Marshal King got one more for the Desert Dogs, who went to the dressing room at halftime up by two goals.
At the half, Las Vegas 6 Rochester 4.
Connor Fields brought the Knighthawks within one goal to start the third quarter, but three more from Las Vegas would keep the Knighthawks chasing.
Jack Hannah scored his third of the night on the power-play off a Rob Hellyer feed at 6:10, followed by Brandon Clelland also converting a Hellyer feed at 8:30. Hellyer himself scored his second of the night off a Zack Greer pass at 10:43.
After three quarters, Las Vegas 9 Rochester 5.
Holden Cattoni opened the fourth quarter scoring converting a Parker Pipher feed at 0:50 seconds, but two quick Desert Dogs goals was putting this game out of reach.
Jack Hannah scored his fourth of the evening with a behind the back shot off a Jon Phillips feed at 1:41, followed by a power-play goal by Zack Greer off a Hannah pass at 3:56.
Ryan Smith scored off a Connor Fields pass at 5:30, but Marshal King answered back for Vegas, converting a Rob Hellyer pass at 6:54.
Rochester tried to get back in the game, but thr strong Desert Dogs defence, as well as the superb goaltending of Landon Kells stopped them cold.
Final score, Las Vegas 12 Rochester 7.
The Three Stars:
- Landon Kells
- Jack Hannah
- Rob Hellyer
- Shots on goal had Rochester outshooting the Desert Dogs 51-41.
- The Knighthawks won the faceoff battle 13-10.
- The loose ball battle went to Rochester 76-62.
- The Knighthawks went 2 for 5 on the power-play, while Las Vegas went 2 for 3.
- Connor Fields 2g, 3a
- Ryan Smith 2g, 2a
- Holden Cattoni 1g, 3a
Las Vegas Desert Dogs:
- Rob Hellyer 2g, 7a
- Jack Hannah 4g,
- Marshal King 2g, 2a
- Zack Greer 2g, 2a
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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.