The Rochester Knighthawks (0-3) lost to the Toronto Rock (4-1) last weekend. It was Rochester’s third consecutive loss this season. Not a very good start for the defending 2012 champions.
The Knighthawks were actually the first ones to score as Johnny Powless beat Nick Rose on Rochester’s first shot of the game. It would be Powless’s only point of the game. Cody Jamieson added another goal just a minute later to give Rochester a 2-0 lead. It looked like Rochester’s offense was finally starting to click but the lead quickly turned into a deficit as Toronto scored the next five goals. Despite their quick start, suddenly Rochester was down 2-5 after the first quarter.
An amazing “Air Gait-like” shot from Cory Vitarelli opened the second quarter. Rochester would own this quarter with a shorthanded breakaway goal from Brad Self and a pair of goals from Cody Jamieson (one also shorthanded). The score was tied 6-6 at halftime and the Knighthawks were back in contention.
The third quarter turned into a defensive showdown, which didn’t bode well for the Hawks. There was just one goal and unfortunately it was the Toronto Rock who scored it.
Soon everything seemed to be going wrong for the Knighthawks. Rochester managed to score just a single goal in the fourth quarter of the game despite having a couple of power plays. Rochester just could not score.
The problem wasn’t so much Toronto’s defense or Nick Rose’s gameplay (though he did earn the game MVP with 40 saves), it was a failure on the part of the Knighthawks offense. Rochester scored just two even-strength goals which is ridiculously bad (they had three shorties and two power play goals). Dan Dawson, Stephen Keogh, and Craig Point all had zero points. Casey Powell had two assists but was held without a goal.
The only Rochester forwards that seemed to have respectable games were Cody Jamieson (3G + 2A) and Cory Vitarelli (2G). Matt Vinc made 32 saves in the loss.
One reason for the Knighthawks inability to score may have been Joe Walters got the ball too much. It felt like he had it almost every possession. Why, out of an offense that has guys like Jamieson, Powell, and Dawson, would Joe Walters be the team’s quarterback? He showed a lot of promise in the playoffs last season but should not be the Knighthawks’ go-to guy. And where is Mike Accursi? He was scratched for the second time.
The Knighthawks return home next weekend to take on the Washington Stealth on February 2nd.